Whoosh – the scary sound of pigeons coming home to roost

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I’ve just heard the news that Martin McGuinness has resigned. That has speeded up the ‘game of chicken’  Arlene apparently thought it was – in fact has shown that it wasn’t a game at all and that it wasn’t so much about blinking as bluster on the part of Arlene and the DUP.

There’s also a video clip doing the rounds in which Martin McGuinness announces his decision. In keeping with the shock announcement is the shock of his appearance – he looks ten years older and in poor health. Whether this has been a factor in his decision to pull the plug I’m not sure. Regardless of his health, the Cash-forAsh fiasco had to end badly.

The DUP will now rush to circle the wagons and point the finger at Sinn Féin as being to blame for bringing down the house on the hill. What in fact has led to the present situation is the DUP’s RHI scheme. It’s been their  monstrous and monstrously expensive baby from start to finish, and all the misogyny/attack on my father/attack on my school bus/Jonathan Bell/ game of chicken/here, you take the baby  in the world won’t change that.

The other point that needs emphasising is that this is NOT a DUP vs Sinn Féin matter. It’s a DUP vs competence/honesty/transparency. It’s also a matter of economics  – aka money. As  Sam McBride said on Talkback today, there are a large number of people out there who would not normally have voted, who are incensed about this whole matter. There’s nothing like someone nicking your wallet and emptying it to rouse you from the deepest of torpors. The DUP will of course run the election as “Vote for us and stop the First Minister’s role being passed to Martin McGuinness!”  There’ll be several  problems with this. The central matter is an economic, not a constitutional one, so only those willing to be duped will be duped.  There’s a chance that they may not be facing Martin McGuinness but a stand-in for him or even his successor. And you can fool people only so many times.

In fact  I’d like to think that the electorate will see through this usual DUP bogey-man baloney. I’m even hopeful they might end up taking a lead from Peter Finch in ‘Network’.  Is that too much to hope for?

63 Responses to Whoosh – the scary sound of pigeons coming home to roost

  1. Cal January 9, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    It was the right decision and I wish Martin all the very best in his recovery.

    McGuinness was adamant there would be no return to the status quo post election so I’m hoping this means a fundamental change in attitude from SF regards Stormont and its obvious failings.

    • ben madigan January 9, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

      totally agree Cal.

      Martin spent 10 years doing his best to promote reconciliation, up against the same sectarian bigotry as in the old Stormont, day in and day out.
      He wrote a fine resignation letter.
      Let’s hope recovering his health is all he needs to focus on in the immediate future.

      • Cal January 9, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

        Martin McGuinness’s dignified and humble announcement today is in stark contrast to Foster’s crass comments about jockeying for position within SF.

        The DUP in their current guise are in my view impossible to work with – time for a plan b.

        • Jack Black January 10, 2017 at 10:19 pm #

          100% Cal.

  2. Paul Drain January 9, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

    Glad to see that stormont is going to collapse. What I would like to see happen next is that we have joint rule from Dublin and London. Is this part of GFA? It should be evident to most people by now that the dupes are incapable of equality in government and having respect for nationalism. Twenty years later and we’re still waiting for our national flag and other nationalist symbols to be given equal recognition in this state. Enough is enough, sell off or knock down stormont building and replace it with a folly.

    • Ryan January 9, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

      “Is this part of GFA? ”

      Does it have to be Paul? There are sections of the GFA like parity of esteem, equality, etc that aren’t being implemented. The DUP have betrayed agreements numerous times, the Irish Language Act in 2006, the Long Kesh Site, etc. The British Government have done the same too. Agreements are useless if they aren’t being implemented in full.

      Its clear when you read Martin McGuinness’s full statement that this is Sinn Fein finally saying Enough is Enough.

      It is time for Joint Rule, you cant make a success out of an utter failure, which is what this statelet is: an utter failure.

      Joint Rule was on the cards in 2007. It should definitely be on the cards in 2017. I’ll leave you with the words of the late Ian Paisley Snr.

      • Colmán January 10, 2017 at 5:07 am #

        Joint Rule is also my preferred option. It is the only situation that could end the crippling stalemate that we call politics here. However I never believed a word that came out of Paisley’s mouth. What he said is most likely untrue.

      • Jack Black January 10, 2017 at 10:22 pm #

        I ain’t after medals but when the letter from America came to Belfast from Robbo, I said that’s it Martin……get outta there, how right I was.

    • Michael January 9, 2017 at 5:46 pm #

      Completely agree Paul.
      Stormont in its current guise does not work, in fact it never has.

      We go to election and what happens? SF and DUP are voted back in and the same ole continues. The RHI scandal is forgotten about, Arlene walks away scot free, no public enquiry.
      Previous agreements have been constantly reneged on so why should we expect anything different from political unionism.

  3. Ciarán January 9, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

    I commend Martin MC Guinness for the action he has taken and for demonstrating that he meant what he said throughout this DUP instigated debacle. Stand up now and take no more shit from these bigots who have bitten off more than they can chew! Let’s hope this is their ruination. They are a party the public can do without!!! I hope nationalists can rally behind Sinn Fein for the courageous stance they have taken on this !

  4. fiosrach January 9, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    Latest news! Pair of cojones found in Connolly house!

  5. Mark January 9, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

    Was thinking about this over tea, poor wee Arlene, she now must place the blame squarely at the feet of those responsible, the feckin Fenians, if the DUP don’t loose seats over their role in all of this their electors deserve the result, potentially the return of tory rule.

  6. Sherdy January 9, 2017 at 6:06 pm #

    This is the right decision – only it is about eight or nine years late!
    When the DUP first reneged on an agreement – I can’t remember whether it was the Irish language act or the Long Kesh project – Sinn Fein should have pulled the plug then, knowing that the DUP bigots would never voluntarily reform.
    I resent the fact that Sinn Fein have themselves endured, and also forced their followers to endure almost ten years of abject humiliation!
    Surely I am not the only one to have been disgusted at their lack of backbone, and to have totally lost faith in them.
    Can they recover from this loss?
    Maybe, but it will take a completely different attitude on an ongoing basis, with a guarantee from the party never to be willing doormats for the worst bigots in the world!
    Sinn Fein – you have your work cut out or you will disappear without trace in the RHI ashes!

  7. giordanobruno January 9, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    Well that is that I suppose.
    Barring some kind of fancy footwork from May and Brokenshire to avoid it we are looking at an election. Bah!
    And at the end the likely result will be DUP First Minister, Sinn Fein Deputy and some minor changes in the numbers.
    The DUP will certainly use that as vindication and effectively end any prospect of getting the truth over RHI.
    Already I sense both sides looking more content as they slip into their old familiar roles of electioneering,rather than trying to actually achieve any progress.
    By the time we get to the polls will the electorate even remember what triggered it?
    Certainly the DUP are to blame in the main for their ongoing arrogance of which the RHI scandal is only the latest example,but SF handled it badly and backed themselves into a corner. In they end they had no choice.

    So press the reset button once again.
    A farce and a waste of time and money.
    I may spoil my vote in protest and I hope I will not be alone.

    • PF January 9, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

      Gio

      “And at the end the likely result will be DUP First Minister, Sinn Fein Deputy and some minor changes in the numbers.”

      We can only hope not. If I could urge anything, I would urge Unionists not to vote DUP.

      • giordanobruno January 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

        PF
        Martin McGuinness has said in his statement:

        “There will be no return to the status quo.”

        How they will prevent that remains to be seen.
        Possibly another tedious round of negotiation followed by another agreement heralding a bright new dawn. We are running out of names for all these agreements.

        I wish McGuinness well with his health and hope he recovers soon.

    • Ryan January 9, 2017 at 7:54 pm #

      “I may spoil my vote in protest and I hope I will not be alone”

      Spoiling your vote wont change anything Gio. In fact, you, me and everyone else should be doing the opposite. We should go and vote for change.

      This RHI scandal has done something to the electorate very few things could do: its infuriated people who normally don’t even vote. Expect a bigger turnout this year compared to last.

    • Jude Collins January 9, 2017 at 7:57 pm #

      That’s what I like to see, gio – a responsible citizen who is delicately balanced and so declares one lot just about as bad as the other and so the obvious thing to do is spoil his vote…

      • giordanobruno January 9, 2017 at 8:27 pm #

        Jude
        I am not saying in this case one lot is as bad as the other, but the world is not a simple black and white, unionists bad republicans good, scenario either.
        Sinn Fein have played their part in dragging us into an election no-one wants,by mishandling this even though the original sin was the DUP’s.
        If they had supported the opposition no confidence vote who knows what might have happened.
        I am not a big fan of vote spoiling but when my choice is Gerry ,’vote taig’ Kelly I am left with little option.

        • ceannaire January 10, 2017 at 12:33 am #

          “If they had supported the opposition no confidence vote who knows what might have happened.”

          Yes we do, Gio; a POC and we would have arrived at this situation anyway. Arlene Foster and DUP arrogance brought us to this point.

          If you can’t vote for Kelly then vote for the person you used to (unless you voted DUP, Gio). Otherwise there are others you can surely cast a vote for. It’s not always about voting for the person who can win – sometimes you just have to make your voice heard. Spoiled votes, just like non-votes are never, ever listened to.

          • giordanobruno January 10, 2017 at 8:00 am #

            ceannaire
            Possibly things might have gone as you say,but there was a possibility they would not.
            Yes a POC would have been used,but it would not have changed the fact that every party but her own had expressed no confidence in the First Minister. She could not have gone on. At that point she may have stood aside for a DUP replacement rather than force an election.
            But you are right that we may have ended up where we are anyway. We will never know now.
            A spoiled vote is not quite the same as a non vote as I am sure you know. It is a positive statement for ‘none of the above’.
            Yes it is not really listened to if the numbers are small,but if all the non voters and disaffected voters did it it would be a powerful message.
            However I expect the usual sense of apathy will be in evidence,with possibly an even lower turnout than before,while the faithful will ensure we are back where we started before long.

          • jessica January 10, 2017 at 8:16 am #

            I think enough pandering has been afforded to the DUP and unionism.
            It was right to let them choose of their own free will, reconciliation should never be coerced.

            It was unionism that allowed Stormont to fail.
            It was not only the DUP who stood shoulder to shoulder with loyalist paramilitaries over flags and marching.

            The british state covering up legacy with national security gave out the wrong signals and allowed unionism to believe they could rule with an iron fist.

            It was right to call a halt to the Stormont project which has failed over unionist intransigence and british bad faith.

      • Jack Black January 10, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

        Refuse to be deflected Jude, you are one great man buddy.

  8. paddykool January 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

    Some things might never change ,Jude but I’d like to think that if there is another election as we appear to be gearing up for ….and we arrive at a similar situation with unreconstructed bigots grabbing at power again so that they can dig into the coffers and tills of the land, that Sinn Fein will refuse to enter the chamber at all ,unless a whole raft of agreements already promised long ago, and not yet fulfilled , are honoured beforehand and that all those scandals are first resolved.
    Also there’s that little matter of Arlene Foster .How will anyone be able to work with her again should the DUP continue to support her as leader? All the other parties still require her to step aside while the Soot for Loot is investigated.That hasn’t changed at all no matter how far down the road it is kicked .This whole thing might take much longer to reset if Sinn Fein doesn’t get the right answers ,should they get a large vote.They may simply cool their heels for a period and let Brokenshire and his southern counterpart have night -sweats for a few years with a joint rule . At this moment , I could live with that scenario for a while.

    • jessica January 10, 2017 at 8:18 am #

      That is exactly what needs to happen Harry

      Going back into Stormont even after an election is a no no.

  9. Hugh Britton January 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm #

    Martin McGuinness deserves our full support for the courageous decision that he has taken this afternoon. In my view he was left with no other choice. He is also deserving of our thanks for the unflinching leadership he has provided to all citizens in N.Ireland, irrespective of political affiliations, throughout the last ten years.

    The ball is now firmly in the DUP’s court and they now must deal with Arlene Foster’s intransigence. I have no doubt that there are those in the DUP party who are of honesty and integrity, and who recognise the reality of the present position. It remains to be seen if within these ranks if a person or persons is prepared to grasp the nettle, and to face down Arlene Foster. Ian Paisley in his declining years showed his leadership by recognising the importance of the common good of ordinary people and of their lives, over other considerations.

    Like him or loath him, Martin McGuinness is a man of substance and of principals – and deserving of our support and respect.

    ” We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future ”
    George Bernard Shaw

  10. Perkin Warbeck January 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm #

    FROM PELLETS to PULLETS

    Arl the Snarl is quite the uppity chorus girl
    A wannabe Streep who thinks she’s Meryl
    Now that word pullet
    Has stuck in her gullet
    Don’t bite the bullet ! sez South Fried Earl.

  11. RJC January 9, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

    Martin McGuinness’ conduct in office has been impeccable, and something the people of the north should take a degree of comfort from, following as it did some 30 years of conflict. He has made genuine efforts to build bridges between all people here, often in stark contrast to his unionist counterparts.

    Foster’s statement on his resignation comes across as petulant, verging on childish but one would expect nothing less from her. Just when you think you can’t think any less of someone…

    I’d like to believe that an election might shake things up somewhat, but the behaviour of the DUP this past decade hasn’t lost them many votes I don’t see that things would be much different this time around. The DUP only ‘govern’ for themselves, and time and again have shown that they cannot work with any other party. Foster’s cantankerous attacks on all and sundry in the final sitting of Stormont speaks for itself.

    We’re nearly 20 years on from the GFA and 10 years on from St Andrew’s. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that the DUP have done as much as they can to disregard both. A further sticking plaster at this stage would be pointless – the old ‘insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ quote springs to mind. Power sharing in Stormont does not and cannot work. Another election would just be kicking the can a little further down the road. When was the ‘Fresh Start Agreement’? Little over a year ago? Pointless. Stormont in its current form is unworkable. Time for Plan B.

    • PF January 9, 2017 at 7:23 pm #

      “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that the DUP have done as much as they can to disregard both.”

      And in doing so have succeeded only in weakening the Union.

      • Ryan January 9, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

        “And in doing so have succeeded only in weakening the Union”

        The Union is finished long term anyway. There are numerous reasons why, not least political Unionisms determination to commit political suicide.

        When I was young I use to think most adults were wise, intelligent and resourceful. Boy, how wrong I was. I don’t think there’s a better example than Unionist politicians. People who went to University, have degrees, have a lot of experience of life, etc and yet they are poisoning their own cause and driving it to its death on a daily basis but yet they cant see this because the blinkers of bigotry or sectarianism or whatever term you want to use is blinding them. Its madness.

        But sure if your political enemies are hanging themselves, why stop them?…..

        • PF January 9, 2017 at 9:21 pm #

          Ryan

          “I don’t think there’s a better example than Unionist politicians.”

          You may think otherwise, but this isn’t true of all unionist politicians. What particularly sticks in the throat is the despicable treatment of David Trimble (and the UUP) by the DUP, who, in the name of no cause but their own, have hastened the demise of the Union.

          They do not deserve Unionist votes.

          And, for the record, a perfect example of their petty mindedness was the withdrawal of the grant to the Irish language school. It was pathetic beyond belief.

          • jessica January 9, 2017 at 10:04 pm #

            David Trimble was no better and in many ways worse with his links to Billy Wright.
            Wait until the national security embargo on truth is lifted and see where his nobel prize goes.

            There is nothing good about unionism in Ireland – absolutely nothing.

        • Mens sana January 9, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

          To be fair, they largely went to rubbish universities.

          • giordanobruno January 10, 2017 at 9:24 am #

            Mens insana

            Evidence?

    • Michael January 9, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

      The DUP rejected the GFA.
      Foster left the UUP because they didn’t.
      What do we expect?!

    • Jude Collins January 9, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

      I’ve searched and searched but I can’t find a word I disagree with, RJC…

      • giordanobruno January 9, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

        Jude
        Are you happy enough for Mick Fealty to be called a scumbag on this thread?
        Am I the only one trying to keep standards up around here?

        • Jude Collins January 10, 2017 at 9:18 am #

          No I’m not. Direct me to the comment, please.

  12. bullykiller January 9, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

    It looks like Martin has a health, as will as a political battle, on his very capable hands. I wish him well in both.

  13. billy January 9, 2017 at 8:36 pm #

    some good dont vote pages are on facebook now.hopefully the other half take note and dont turn up or spoil.the snows forecast this week so its eat or heat for some while the fires heating the empty sheds will be blazing away all through the election and beyond.anybody voting for more of the same for thats all thats on offer deserve all they get until the next crisis.

  14. Freddiemallins January 9, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

    Unionists ( there are exceptions to every rule) have sadly made it their business to ensure that NI is an uncomfortable place to be Irish ( never mind Catholic). The mind really boggles at such unashamed hatred for another legitimate political viewpoint. To have adults behaving in such a sneering, unbrotherly manner in the 21st century is actually almost impossible to credit. Depressing.

  15. Jud January 9, 2017 at 9:10 pm #

    Change is in the air everywhere.
    If 2016 taught us anything it’s that important and unpredictable things can and will happen.

    The DUP have basically offered SF a way to bring down the assembly on a platter. And in a (badly needed) way that energises their own base (equality, parity etc.) and which also firmly lays the blame at the feet of intransigent Unionism.

    I’d say they’ve been looking for the right opportunity for while – and nothing better than this will come along, that’s for sure.

    For NI since the GFA the options have been:
    1) Power sharing (status quo)
    2) UI based on referenda
    3) Direct rule
    4) Joint authority

    Recent times have shown number 1 to be unworkable. SF needed a way out and the DUP just gave it to them.

    They have just rolled the dice on the other three, with the primary assumption being that the British will not have the stomach for a return to number 3 (Direct rule from Westminster).
    I’d say that is a pretty good assumption given the massive challenges PM May is already dealing with domestically, and the behaviour of the DUP in recent times.

    It looks to me like this is a gambit to land on a UI referendum or joint authority – either of which are a huge step forward for Republicanism vs. the status quo of a basket case, play parliament at Stormont.

    I’d say things just got interesting again.

    • PF January 9, 2017 at 9:27 pm #

      Jud

      A pretty accurate assessment.

      Direct Rule, if it returns, will only be a stop gap. London having no stomach for direct rule was has been clear from the Down Street Declaration.

      The DUP, by their unwillingness to share power in a United Kingdom, have rolled the dice, and cut the ties of Union.

      Certainly from a political point of view, it looks very much like calling a UI referendum could be justified by the Secretary of State, and Paisley himself always said joint authority was plan ‘B’.

      Welcome to the end of the Union – thanks, DUP.

  16. Scott Rutherford January 9, 2017 at 9:21 pm #

    Consensus seems to be that an election will change nothing but I’m not so sure. This one feels different to me with more tangible anger and frustration coming from all quarters.

    I have a TERRIBLE track record of predicting elections getting both BREXIT, Trump and every other assembly election wrong, but I have this niggling feeling that this might be the election which shakes things up………or maybe I’m way out lol.

    • jessica January 9, 2017 at 9:57 pm #

      I don’t recall the nationalist community ever being so agitated with unionism and the union.

      The DUP have stuck a stick into a hornets nest.

      Nobody wants Stormont back.

      The next election will be about something else. Putting manners on unionism and learning them respect. Sinn Fein deserve our support and they will have mine.
      Not for a return to Stormont, but to fight for our respect and to force Britain to complete the job. Legacy issues need resolved once and for all.
      Stormont is finished.

      • Michael January 9, 2017 at 10:32 pm #

        Indeed Jessica.
        The feeling I’m getting from the community around me is that Stormont is a waste of time and money.
        Few want to see it back again.

      • paddykool January 10, 2017 at 9:04 am #

        Oh Jessica, the nationalist community have been energised before .It was the same situation at the onset of the civil rights movement and of course that was met head-on by unionist violence.The same civil rights /parity of esteem agenda that is being held to the fire now .In that respect unionism has never really changed at all in all these years.
        The DUP have made no bones that they did not want an agreement with nationalism ever and they didn’t want to work with republicans ,even though they have a perfectly viable political agenda.she still sees it as a war and her party has continued to promote that idea .This kind of arrogance has always been part of their DNA.Arlene Foster also thinks she is still at war even though everyone else was trying to make politics work. Her true nature has finally been exposed and she is quite comfortable with her arrogance.That arrogance has blinded her to a few realities.The main one is that she is powerless without SinnFein.Sinn Fein attempted to accomodate that arrogance even though it meant prostrating themselves to expose it at every turn . Some might call it killing them with kindness; some might see it as a weakness.The RHI scandal was the point where Sin Fein were forced to abandon the strategy …or there’s the possibility that they used it as the final straw to disengage with a partner that had foolishly taken their compliance for weakness.The DUP apperntly believe that parity of esteem is a sign of weakness rather than a triumph for everyone . I think that at that point we have to ask ourselves whether the DUP is a fit partner at all. If it was a marriage it would ultimately end in divorce because of irreconcilable differences.
        Of course everyone else looking in, such as Mr Brokenshire and Michael Martin ,who don’t have to put up with this impossible arrogance and conceit on a daily basis, think that everything should be tried to avoid an election , but that’s because they will in turn be handed that same stinking can to deal with if it comes down to Joint Rule. I don’t think we all need to troop into an Executive after a March election and start all this nonsense again. I think there should be a long cooling off period. Most people don’t care whether or not our local politicians get their jobs back .That is how polluted the politics have become. Most nationalist now believe that the DUP is working to feather their own nest at the expense of both nationalists and unionists alike. The DUP ‘s only concern, for them, is for the likes of bonfire builders, flute bands and cosying up to the UDA.
        We know that if the whole thing is put into suspension, Brokenshire can still have an enquiry into the various scandals such as the RHI debacle without Arlene Foster’s input …given that will by then be on gardening leave for quite a long time anyway.

      • Jack Black January 10, 2017 at 10:28 pm #

        Concur Jessica 100%

    • moser January 10, 2017 at 1:06 am #

      I will support you on this one Scot. Love your self-deprecating humour.

  17. michael c January 9, 2017 at 9:25 pm #

    I see mr Fawlty of slugger otoole has tweeted “he was due to retire on health grounds -one last futile gesture methinks” Classy or what?

    • Sherdy January 9, 2017 at 10:27 pm #

      ******** or what!

      Sherdy – you should know this is unacceptable. Don’t waste my time correcting things like this, please…Jude

      • jessica January 9, 2017 at 10:30 pm #

        There is much worse going around on facebook.
        This is going to be the nastiest election in our history
        The DUP have got what they wanted. It is time to make them choke on it

        • Michael January 9, 2017 at 10:35 pm #

          Paul Givan already showing his hand this evening on the news declaring that SinnFein are afraid of strong Unionist leader and that why they pulled the executive down.
          Also coming out with the line that the UU are backing nationalists.
          Watch to see how often these lines are used in the coming weeks up to the election.

          What he fails to grasp is that many, many people right across the board are just sick of them.

          • jessica January 9, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

            That’s it Michael.
            It has nothing to do with Sinn Fein, they tried their best to make it work, it is the people they represent who are now in a majority and we will take no more of the DUP.
            The DUP are finished.
            They will not accepted in power in any part of Ireland again, not ever.
            They wanted a fight and it looks as though they are going to get it.

  18. billy January 9, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

    nolan who forced the election is back tomorrow.

  19. jessica January 9, 2017 at 10:58 pm #

    And if when all a vigil keep,
    The North’s asleep, the North’s asleep!
    Alas and well may Erin weep
    That Ulster lies in s1umber deep.
    But hark a voice like thunder spake,
    The North’s awake, the North’s awake!
    Sing, enough is enough, let Arlene quake,
    We’ll make them pay for Erin’s sake

  20. michael c January 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm #

    Sherdy,I could think of stronger terms to describe Mr Fawlty.He has ventured onto this site in the past and maybe Jude could coax him back on so that we all can tell him what we think of him.!

  21. RJC January 10, 2017 at 12:31 am #

    When Vince Cable writes that Irish unification is both inevitable and desirable, the leader of the British Labour party is pro-Irish unification and even *gasp* Margaret Thatcher is revealed to have admitted that ‘we got it wrong in 1921’ one wonders if even the most obdurate unionist might just have a tiny little voice in his or her head questioning the sanity of carrying on with the NI project.

    Northern Ireland has never worked and never will. How people manage to convince themselves otherwise remains a mystery. Ignorance is bliss, perhaps. On every conceivable level the partition of Ireland has been an unmitigated disaster for these six counties, and nothing is going to change here whilst Northern Ireland continues to exist. The UK is tearing itself apart over Brexit and perhaps again England’s difficulty may prove to be Ireland’s opportunity.

    Whether the great political and legal minds of Ireland and Britain are capable of successfully managing the dissolution of NI remains to be seen. Westminster needs to stop propping up this failed state with funds, and would no doubt be happy to do so if circumstances were apposite. Relations have improved greatly between Ireland and Britain these past 10/15 years, and it’s worth remembering that Dublin and London do have certain obligations here…

    Politicians in the Dáil appear to have better relationships in Westminster than their Unionist counterparts manage, and concessions regarding British citizenship within Ireland could no doubt be drafted by keener minds than I. Nationalists in the north are no less Irish nearly 100 years into partition, so there’s nothing to suggest that Ulster unionists cannot remain British within the context of a united Ireland should they so desire.

    Stormont stumbles from disaster to disaster, and all the time living standards are low and falling (relative to both the 26 counties and Britain), the health service is in total disarray (Portadown GP crisis anyone?), schools underfunded and economic growth negligible. None of this is going to change whilst Northern Ireland continues to exist. Another election will change nothing.

    Are there unionists who genuinely believe that a glittering future awaits us? Or is it simply a case of needing to see a union flag hanging outside the boarded up buildings, charity shops and dole offices which litter their ‘wee country’? Do they believe that all of its citizens will be celebrating 100 glorious years in May 2021? The past twenty years have provided the best opportunity to make Northern Ireland work for everyone, and look at where we find ourselves today. For how much longer can this sorry state endure?

  22. slanlot January 10, 2017 at 2:07 am #

    Martin Mc Guinness , has since going into Government with the DUP made every effort to co-operate with them . Unfortunately his overtures of goodwill and harmony have been sneered at , rejected , laughed at , so much so that the nationalist electorate have grown very hostile towards the DFM for accepting humiliation after humiliation . Like many nationalists , I have become disillusioned with MMG and his party for passively tolerating the DUP’s insulting behaviour and the alleged corruption that has been levelled at them . However watching MMG on television I was shocked by his appearance , he has aged and looks ill but he has never looked more determined than he looked doing that interview . I have no doubt he is a man of courage and personal integrity and has dedicated his life to Irish unity and I am convinced he means what he says , that post election Stormont is going to a different place . Well things need to change , the DUP’s belligerence needs to be confronted head-on and faced down . For Martin I hope you recover from your illness and regain your health .

  23. Paul Woods January 10, 2017 at 7:41 am #

    Couldn’t agree with you more RJC that just about says it all

  24. slanlot January 10, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    Your hit every bull’s eye there RJC .

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