The DUP: standing firm on the wrong side of history (again)?

It’s interesting that Nigel Dodds is the person fronting up the DUP addresses to the press and media these days. The assumption must be that if they let Arlene loose, she may come out with another alligator allegation or otherwise put the DUP on the back foot. Not that they’re not there already.

But you must admit the DUPers are triers, and as we all know, God loves a trier. Here’s Nigel trying to blame the other lot:

“It is Sinn Féin insisting on new demands being implemented – not about health, education or public services, but about narrow partisan issues which we don’t think are in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland.”

A couple of points, Nigel old sausage.

First, as I suggested yesterday, why not ignore the “new demands” and concentrate on the core demands Sinn Féin have been arguing for? These include Acht na Gaeilge, a Bill of Rights, marriage equality. Which if any of those frightens you?

Secondly, what’s this “in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland.”? This, from the party that established the RHI scheme which, no matter what way you look at it, was most certainly not in the interests of the people of our North-East Nest. Besides which, how is an Acht na Gaeilge not in the interests of the people of our NEN? And are you really saying that to promote something as vibrant and valuable as our national language isn’t in the best interests of the people here? Perhaps Nigel should get on his phone and contact Scotland and Wales and tell them to cancel their language Acts, since they also (presumably) aren’t in the interests of the people of those two countries.

One other point, which the DUP and some southern media people have been keen to promote: the notion that it suits Sinn Féin to keep the Executive un-revived, because it somehow benefits them in the south.

Eh? So how would that work?  How would our present Limbo state advantage Sinn Féin in the south? It’s surely obvious, even to the most shell-shocked DUPer, that having the Executive re-established and running successfully is what would play best to southern politics. That’d show  Sinn Féin are capable of handling the affairs of government, and encourage similar thoughts about their ability in the south.

I know not all DUPers are members of the Orange Order, but it’s hard not to spot parallels between the OO and the DUP. The Orange Order, again and again throughout its history, managed to position itself on the wrong side. The United Irishmen, Catholic Emancipation, the Great Reform Act of 1832, the Land League: anywhere that  pressure for equality was to be found,  the Orange Order was there doing its damnedest to turn back the tide of history.

The DUP now find themselves in the position where they’re opposed to the Irish language’s development, they’re opposed to equal marriage, they’re opposed to funding those Legacy cases that the Lord Chief Justice has requested funding for. It really doesn’t look good, guys.

It’s one thing to take a principled stand; it’s another to indulge in dunder-headedness and not-an-inchery.  Alas, it looks as though the DUP have opted to be the party stuck in a political trench. The longer they wait before shifting to a more enlightened position, the greater the danger their trench will collapse in on them. Not a nice way to go, political asphyxiation.

33 Responses to The DUP: standing firm on the wrong side of history (again)?

  1. Greg April 12, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    Nailed it Jude

  2. Jim Neeson April 12, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    Very Good comment. But remember according to Nigel the DUP did not agree with the GFA and did not sign up to it!!!.But insisted they were the bosses in the Assembly. So logically why would they succumb to SF demands. Britain, Free State USA and the EU all agreed it was a good Agreement. Big Ian even agreed at a later date. I am sure the reasonable Unionist population agree as well. The DUP are the worst type of bigot imaginable.
    I have lived all my life trying to understand Loyalism but their thinking still beats me!!!

    • Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr April 12, 2017 at 11:48 am #

      The GFA was endorsed and passed via referendum by all the people of Ireland. It should have been made a prerequisite that any party entering Stormont, should have been made to sign up to the GFA principles as it underpins the very structures of the north. Not to do so renders the whole set up pointless.

      The DUP should have made their stance on it clear and abstained from Stormont from the outset. I believe that this was a catastrophic oversight by our co-guarantors, not to enforce this..

      To paraphrase Trimble…………No guts ………… No Government!

      • fiosrach April 12, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

        Dr. The GFA was only put to the people of the six counties. The 26 just sold us down the stream.

      • moser April 12, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

        Very good point Dr Michael.

  3. Ernsesider April 12, 2017 at 10:53 am #

    Being on the wrong side of history has never cost them anything in electability, so why change ..?
    Oppose everything Irish/Catholic /Nationalist/Republican, it works every time with their chosen audience of sectarian bigots. As for history, what did the pilot say ..? We are now landing in Belfast, put back your watch Three Hundred Years ..!! Also helps to distract from the RHI scandal. If you are up to your neck in shite but can still squeak F**k the Pope, there’s a fair chance that the LOLs will rally round and pull you out .. Right Arlene ..??

  4. paddykool April 12, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    What can be added? Well just imagine a party that was founded by a man who actively opposed “Civil Rights” right out there on the streets….to the point of violence. You couldn’t make it up. Talk about “principles” and a “principled stand”. What principles can a party have that has an anti -Civil Rights agenda right there in its DNA …running right through it like the writing on a stick of seaside rock? Do they knew or did they ever know what “civil rights “means? Are they so dunderheaded and daft that they don’t understand that civil rights and a Bill of Rights are for every single person without favour? Principles !!!!! Fah!!! Mine arse!!!
    I piss on their idea of “principles” .
    They never had any and by the looks of things they never will.Why ,any of us would ever want to share the same air as these principled clowns is a bloody mystery. Someone , out there , give me one example of any one good thing their “principles “have achieved in this past fifty years. Go on then ….one little example. I can give you plenty of examples of iffy deals they have had their sticky principled fingers stuck in within only the last five years .I don’t have to think too hard.Principles!!!? Dear sufferin’ sassafrass!!! They have been associated with organisations and people that have created more shitstorms in the historical record than anyone else in all creation….and it’s not just nationalists and republicans .It’s everyone with a functioning brain who wants equality in our society.
    So let’s get it straight about “principled stands” that lack even the aroma ….the very sniff of “principles” ….what is your problem with equal rights for everyone ,you political numpties ? You’ll be damned lucky to ever sit your soft heads down with reasonable people of any ilk , ever again, after the previous horrendous performance in local government ,which culminated in your party screwing us all for nearly £500 million quid in that RHI scheme that you think we’ve all forgotten about…and then you talk of feeding crocodiles!! They’d be a damned sight easier fed than you avaricious buggers. Principled !!! Get a grip!! The DUP don’t know what a principle is and we’re suppose to share power with them ?

    • fiosrach April 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

      The biggest mistake we ever made,Harry, was to wear sackcloth and ashes. That was after the quarantine. But I’ll tell you one thing their principled stands gained them. As a previous poster said, it gets them elected every time. We’re in the minority – maybe we’re wrong. Who needs Stormont anyway? Haven’t we got the Mother of Parliaments to regulate our lives? Anyway, until the Conservatives get a healthier majority they are going to keep on the right side of the little corporal and the Deppitty. Do both of them sit on the Privy Council, by the way? At the same time? It’s hard to say if any DUPes read this blog, but keep ‘er lit. £80’000 per day and rising. That’s not counting the lawyers fees once the court cases start.

      • paddykool April 12, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

        It’s really amazing , fiosrach. I really can’t imagine what kind of society the DUP voters really want. It’s nothing like the Great British society that exists across the water ever wanted …that’s for sure. Are they so alien to modernity that they’ll eventually have to live something like the Amish do…closed off from the modern world? If they are like this now at the beginning of the 21st century , still dreaming dreams of a yesteryear sometime in the 17th century…what will they be like in another fifty years? The changes coming up are about to floor them completely and nobody and nothing seems to have prepared them for those changes that will come. Nobody can get through to them and time is running out so fast. If and when Scotland jump ship as they doubtless eventually will…. and that same change comes to Ireland, they are not exactly preparing any arguments to prepare their voters for a free and open society.

        • fiosrach April 12, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

          I think they do see themselves in the 17th century ever watchful for the Pope and the catholic nations of France and Spain lest an attack be mounted. They like these intrigues at the court of the German Protestant Queen a bit like Blackadder. The majority of those who vote unionist will go whatever way the wind blows but this unreconstructed rump will withdraw into themselves or try to resell their people in Tyrone, Fermanagh, Armagh and Derry. Interesting times ahead if we can last out.

  5. Michael April 12, 2017 at 11:05 am #

    What are these additional demands that SF are asking for?

    If they are so heinous I’m sure the public will be on the side of the DUP.

    • paddykool April 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

      Yep Michael…what are those new demands that are so very bad? Let’s hear them , I say!

  6. fiosrach April 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

    I see, Jude, you are still operating on British Winter Time. Is this a red line?

  7. Eolach April 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm #

    Recently , I had the unfortunate necessity of spending a week in hospital . Although a small ward , communication between myself and the other patients was non existent…..but they did cordially converse amongst themselves. A cursory glance at the name tags displayed above the beds provided the answer ….I was the solitary Irish name….no clue to religion or politics necessary… No matter how I tried , I was shunned and ostracized. I am very unaccustomed to this level of bigotry and it hurt me deeply. If their bitterness extends everywhere ,even in sickness then the future is very bleak. These people didn’t know or want to know me…..without a single solitary word exchanged ,I was their nemesis…they couldn’t even make eye contact. How Martin McGuinness persevered is beyond me….he deserves every possible accolade

    • ben madigan April 12, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

      Couple of years ago my son had the same experience in belfast.

      One January morning he slipped on an ice, cut his head and after getting stitched up in A&E was kept in overnight in the surgical observation ward.

      The nurse introduced him to the other 4 male patients (1 with UVF tatoos on his arms) and he got the social ostracism treatment from them for the rest of the day and evening until he got out the next morning.

      I suppose it’s the luck of the draw who you find yourself with in any ward

    • colin April 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

      How did you know the religion and politics of the other patients in the ward? From what you say, it appears you sussed out their politics and religion by the names above the beds. Maybe the NHS should stop the practice of putting names above beds! We can do without that sort of prejudice, bigotry and ignorance.

      • Eolach April 14, 2017 at 8:30 am #

        Colin, from the moment the doctors and nurses left my bedside , one of these , not overly intelligent , patients launced a diatribe against Martin Mc and his very warm abode in the afterlife……the others agreed and this verbal diahorrea continued with discussions on upcoming parades their ability to get endless money for Orange halls , their own police force etc etc…..anything they could think of to rile me. My only solace was in speaking “as Gaeilge” when my wife rang me and it certainly exasperated and infuriated them.

        • colin April 14, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

          Yes, it does sound like it was very unpleasant in that ward. But it reminds me of the experiences of a friend of mine from Co Mayo. Now he is a SF member and was a bit of a local organiser for them at one time. When he was in the States the Connemara men would speak to one another in Irish when he was in their company at the bar. Like the not overly intelligent patients on your ward this infuriated him.
          After he returned home, the GAA game would sometimes be showing on TG4 in the bar and again he had the same problem understanding what the commentators were saying. So he usually chose not to watch it and occasionally would’ve been mocked about his lack of Irish by some of the other customers. This also infuriated him. One day I asked him why he had never learnt Irish at school and he told me it was England’s fault.
          So it goes to show, a hospital ward can sometimes resemble a bar.
          But I still don’t understand why you were running around the ward checking the names above the beds .

  8. RJC April 12, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

    It was heartening to hear Sophie Long articulating a case for Unionist identity within a United Ireland on Talkback earlier. All too predictable responses from some Twitter folk, but it’s good to see these sorts of conversations finally taking place.

    I fear we may be waiting some time for those living in 1690 to catch up with the rest of us, but we can’t allow a regressive minority within our society to hold the rest of us back. In the meantime we all need to start articulating our visions for Ireland.

    If the likes of Foster, Dodds etc refuse to engage then they are only doing themselves a disservice as they find themselves left behind. The days of Ulster saying no are best left in the past, coz the times they are a-changing…

  9. Dominic Hendron April 12, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

    Did any of youse hear Julianne Corr on talkback with Jeffery Donaldson talking about Unionism preparing for a UI. Thought it interesting that Donaldson didn’t dismiss her contribution to Unionist thinking

    • Dominic Hendron April 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

      “Sophie Long”

  10. paul April 12, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    Tony Taylor interned 400 days w/ out charge or trial

    • Dominic Hendron April 12, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

      See RJC

  11. giordanobruno April 13, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    How important is an ILA to the general population?
    More important than sorting out bread and butter issues?
    Yes it is all we hear about now from SF and you have to admire how well their supporters stay on message
    It was all about RHI a couple of months ago, now that is all but forgotten
    There is no doubt the DUP should have agreed to it before now given the commitment made at St Andrews and it is simply bad faith on their part to have held it up.
    But no-one will die for want of some Irish translation in court.
    People will die because of a crumbling health service, lack of jobs,crime and so on.
    The 18% of those eligible to vote who voted SF, may be desperate for an ILA (or at least so they have been told) but the rest of the population I suspect,would prefer some actual government..

  12. fiosrach April 13, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

    What about the non SF voters who voted thus because they saw in SF a chance of something being done. Likewise the SDLP. The rest is really nothing but your opinion. …… I suspect.

    • giordanobruno April 13, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

      There is no particular evidence that the population in general wanted to see months if not years of Direct Rule while we wait for an ILA.
      Don’t you think that health, education employment etc might be more pressing than a non essential language Act?

      • RJC April 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

        Trotting out the old ‘what about health/education’ argument is such a weak position to take on this – I really expected better from you, Gio my man. Joanne Bunting tried to gain traction for a similar line last week with a faux outraged tweet claiming that she ‘just cannot conceive how on any level Irish language cld be prioritised over healthcare when ppl are waiting 2 yrs for routine procedures.’ It’s such a weak argument and she got rightly pulled apart for it.

        These things are not synonymous with one another, which is ultimately the implied reasoning behind these disingenuous lines of argument. Erecting a bilingual roadsign does not mean that some sick kid doesn’t get his potentially life saving operation. It is possible to have both.

        And let’s not kid ourselves here – any crisis in the NHS has diddly squat to do with the politicians up on the hill. Ditto the continued cuts to education. The austerity giddy Tories over the water may have just a slight hand in these things – disfunction at Stormont has little effect on these in the greater scheme of things.

        An Irish Language Act shouldn’t even be an issue – that it is tells you everything you need to know about the DUP. It’s simply a question of good governance – something the DUP have proven time and again to be incapable of. Sinn Féin were entirely right to walk away and it’s to their credit that they persevered for as long as they did. Ní mhealltar an sionnach faoi dhó.

        • giordanobruno April 13, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

          I agree it should not be an issue.

          The DUP should have embraced it not only because it would have been the right thing to do but also they could have made some political capital out of it.
          I am not saying it is a choice between bilingual road signs and operations, I am saying that one is more pressing than the other and the big stuff should not be put on a shelf while we are sorting out an important but relatively minor cultural matter.

          Are you saying the decisions being made by our local government are utterly irrelevant in how the budget gets spent?
          Better tell Máirtín Ó Muilleoir he was wasting his time.

          • Dominic Hendron April 13, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

            You don’t seem to appreciate the damage Arlene did Gio. From day one she was determined to deal with nationalism by basically ignoring it. Indifference is worse than hate because it doesn’t even acknowledge you’re existence. The Brexit stance played to a British chauvinism worthy of the EDL. You can’t get away with attitudes like that in Ireland.

          • giordanobruno April 13, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

            I fully agree she has been a disaster.
            I know you are not a SF supporter but are you agreing with their current negotiating position?
            After all they are not refusing to work with the DUP, indeed they are not even refusing to work with Arlene,provided she stands aside for a bit, and even that may be up for negotiation.
            So they are refusing to form a government until these other issues are resolved,the foremost, seemingly being the ILA.
            Everything must be put on hold for that, so important is it.
            It is not something I hear people crying out for in the real world away from blogs like this,I have to say.
            It is interesting that the sticking point for SF is not something like health or economic policy but something largely symbolic with relatively little impact for most of our lives..

          • Dominic Hendron April 13, 2017 at 10:24 pm #

            It’s unfortunate that the electorate did not support Mike Nesbitt in his approach to future relations. I don’t know that SF are fully committed to making NI work the way that the SDLP is but Unionism has chosen SF by default and that is were we are. I don’t want Arlene Foster as FM because she is totally ignorant of the place in which she lives as is her ministers. The Nationalist community have also voted for SF on the basis of full respect for things like the Irish language and this is also the basis of SDLP core beliefs since it was formed. We have to live and work as equals here, no more sitting at the table as guests or outsiders.

      • fiosrach April 13, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

        It’s ok. The British will attend to those minor details. We’ll wait on parity of esteem.

  13. gendjinn April 13, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    Either there is a plan for the DUP to walk their base through the process of signing up to the GFA & St Andrews agreement and delivering on all outstanding commitments from them. Unlikely.

    Or the Tory/DUP plan is to hold the election close to or during the marching season.

    A reckless plan that increases tensions during the usual season of increased tensions. Seeking a marginal Unionist turnout under such circumstances risks violence, assaults and murders. All for the possibility of gaining an increased turnout, not realising Nationalism will respond in kind.

    Alliance risk being screwed as their vote tends to have the resources to go on their holidays during the marches.