Anthony McIntyre ✒ From somewhere deep within the Heaven so many of them fervently claim to believe in, a meteorite was hurled at the Dinosaur Unionist Party, forcing it to retreat even deeper into the forest to ponder the discovery that its species is no longer dominant.

Was it punishment for not halting the progress of women's reproductive rights, or did it have its provenance in the party's failure to prevent same sex couples marrying? Guess it depends on the mood the Heavenly Hitler was in and who or what he hated most on the day. A stern, austere, vindictive god not launching his meteorite against the Catholics despite the Free Ps having briefed him for decades about the Harlot of Rome, but targeting instead his chosen people, is maybe something the lamb of god needs to explain to the sheep. 

For all of that, Occam's razor prompts us to plump for an explanation nowhere near as complicated. At its most simple unionism was outvoted by nationalism for the first time in the North's history. The people have voted, the bastards, and the DUP does not like it and seems set, for now, to refuse to nominate a deputy first minister to serve alongside Sinn Fein's proposed First Minister.

I am neither a Sinn Fein supporter nor voter. Had I still lived in West Belfast I would have voted Gerry Carroll of People Before Profit. Not that I am a Trot by any stretch of the imagination, but government is made better not by the characters in it but by the strength of the opposition it is compelled to deal with. In opposition, the PBP have hit all the right buttons both North and South.

Nevertheless, it would be churlish to bemoan Sinn Fein's victory and by implication resent Northern nationalism at last being in a position to divest itself of the hump that had for so long pressed down on its back.

The community that returned Sinn Fein as the largest party was always kicked because the shoe doing the kicking was on the other foot. For asserting itself as a community it faced state massacre, torture, collusion, internment, war crimes. Harsh state measures invariably came with the approval of the party just eclipsed by Sinn Fein.

In terms of the balance of power the change is more psychological than physical. The psychological aspect of power is important and should not be casually dismissed as merely cosmetic. As a confidence building measure, this is the biggest shot in the arm Northern nationalists have had to date.

Yet, Sinn Fein failed to add to its 2017 tally of seats, while the DUP lost three, not nearly as bad as it may have anticipated. The huge gains, both psychological and physical, were made by the Alliance Party. whose leader Naomi Long - as a parliamentarian and media performer - outshines the other party leaders by a country mile. It more than doubled its seats and increased its percentage of the votes far in excess of all its rivals. If the Good Friday Agreement continues to function as a binary sensor that can only detect two communities and remains effectively tone deaf to the bleeping from a third, its own democratic credentials should come under serious scrutiny. 

Nationalists in the North have plenty to cheer about in terms of improving their lot within the internal solution that the Good Friday Agreement has ushered into being. In terms of Irish unity, however, there is little to brag about.  The figures in this election give no indication that any sea change in attitudes has taken place. Demographics were not the primary determinant in the outcome. Mary Lou McDonald might talk up the prospects of a border poll but it is talk up, not chalk up. The British Secretary of State has already marked out the clear demarcation line between British state power and local assembly power. The latter has none. The British alone will decide when any border poll takes place.

Mary Lou McDonald is right - the glass ceiling of a permanent unionist majority has been smashed. But it had increasingly become low hanging fruit. The much higher ceiling remains outside the range of fire from Northern nationalism. The not so good ship Partition is seaworthy for the foreseeable future. There remains only one port on the horizon, London, not Dublin. 

⏩ Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

Meteorite Hits Dinosaurs

Anthony McIntyre ✒ From somewhere deep within the Heaven so many of them fervently claim to believe in, a meteorite was hurled at the Dinosaur Unionist Party, forcing it to retreat even deeper into the forest to ponder the discovery that its species is no longer dominant.

Was it punishment for not halting the progress of women's reproductive rights, or did it have its provenance in the party's failure to prevent same sex couples marrying? Guess it depends on the mood the Heavenly Hitler was in and who or what he hated most on the day. A stern, austere, vindictive god not launching his meteorite against the Catholics despite the Free Ps having briefed him for decades about the Harlot of Rome, but targeting instead his chosen people, is maybe something the lamb of god needs to explain to the sheep. 

For all of that, Occam's razor prompts us to plump for an explanation nowhere near as complicated. At its most simple unionism was outvoted by nationalism for the first time in the North's history. The people have voted, the bastards, and the DUP does not like it and seems set, for now, to refuse to nominate a deputy first minister to serve alongside Sinn Fein's proposed First Minister.

I am neither a Sinn Fein supporter nor voter. Had I still lived in West Belfast I would have voted Gerry Carroll of People Before Profit. Not that I am a Trot by any stretch of the imagination, but government is made better not by the characters in it but by the strength of the opposition it is compelled to deal with. In opposition, the PBP have hit all the right buttons both North and South.

Nevertheless, it would be churlish to bemoan Sinn Fein's victory and by implication resent Northern nationalism at last being in a position to divest itself of the hump that had for so long pressed down on its back.

The community that returned Sinn Fein as the largest party was always kicked because the shoe doing the kicking was on the other foot. For asserting itself as a community it faced state massacre, torture, collusion, internment, war crimes. Harsh state measures invariably came with the approval of the party just eclipsed by Sinn Fein.

In terms of the balance of power the change is more psychological than physical. The psychological aspect of power is important and should not be casually dismissed as merely cosmetic. As a confidence building measure, this is the biggest shot in the arm Northern nationalists have had to date.

Yet, Sinn Fein failed to add to its 2017 tally of seats, while the DUP lost three, not nearly as bad as it may have anticipated. The huge gains, both psychological and physical, were made by the Alliance Party. whose leader Naomi Long - as a parliamentarian and media performer - outshines the other party leaders by a country mile. It more than doubled its seats and increased its percentage of the votes far in excess of all its rivals. If the Good Friday Agreement continues to function as a binary sensor that can only detect two communities and remains effectively tone deaf to the bleeping from a third, its own democratic credentials should come under serious scrutiny. 

Nationalists in the North have plenty to cheer about in terms of improving their lot within the internal solution that the Good Friday Agreement has ushered into being. In terms of Irish unity, however, there is little to brag about.  The figures in this election give no indication that any sea change in attitudes has taken place. Demographics were not the primary determinant in the outcome. Mary Lou McDonald might talk up the prospects of a border poll but it is talk up, not chalk up. The British Secretary of State has already marked out the clear demarcation line between British state power and local assembly power. The latter has none. The British alone will decide when any border poll takes place.

Mary Lou McDonald is right - the glass ceiling of a permanent unionist majority has been smashed. But it had increasingly become low hanging fruit. The much higher ceiling remains outside the range of fire from Northern nationalism. The not so good ship Partition is seaworthy for the foreseeable future. There remains only one port on the horizon, London, not Dublin. 

⏩ Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

1 comment:

  1. Of course the Duppers never miss and opportunity to trip themselves up. Now they will continue to throw their toys out of the pram, tuck their ball under their arm and refuse to play any more.

    ReplyDelete