Alex McCrory  with some observations on the outcome of the North's Stormont Assembly election.

Sinn Fein achieved an historical victory at the polls yesterday. I say this even though I did not vote myself. Being a keen student of Irish history, I recognise the significance of their triumph whilst also being conscious of its obvious limitations when viewed in the context of the Good Friday Agreement.

Yesterday's result is not a flash in the pan. On the contrary, it is the beginning of a new political order in the six-counties. Sinn Fein will consolidate it's position, leaving the SDLP adrift in a sea of uncertainty.

Really, it is difficult to see where the party of John Hume, hailed as the great peacemaker, goes from here. Perhaps a closer relationship with one of the southern parties, as suggested by some analysts, would anchor them in an all-island context. Quite clearly, it is past its sell by date as the party of northern nationalists. Sinn Fein has effectively stolen it's political attire and left it naked.

As for the DUP, it is hoist on it's own petard. By elevating the Protocol to a principle, it committed an act of political suicide, which was compounded by the refusal to accept a potential Sinn Fein first minister. Such undisguised arrogance infuriated nationalists and drove them into the arms of Sinn Fein. Whoever came up with this cunning electoral strategy needs shot at dawn.

What we are looking at is a lengthy period of Sinn Fein dominance in a British assembly. A party that once had 'Smash Stormont' as a primary political demand, now seeks to manifest it's position by restoring devolution. Of course, they will say it's not the same Stormont. 

Blah, blah, blah.

Alec McCrory 
is a former blanketman.

Sinn Fein Dominance In A British Assembly

Alex McCrory  with some observations on the outcome of the North's Stormont Assembly election.

Sinn Fein achieved an historical victory at the polls yesterday. I say this even though I did not vote myself. Being a keen student of Irish history, I recognise the significance of their triumph whilst also being conscious of its obvious limitations when viewed in the context of the Good Friday Agreement.

Yesterday's result is not a flash in the pan. On the contrary, it is the beginning of a new political order in the six-counties. Sinn Fein will consolidate it's position, leaving the SDLP adrift in a sea of uncertainty.

Really, it is difficult to see where the party of John Hume, hailed as the great peacemaker, goes from here. Perhaps a closer relationship with one of the southern parties, as suggested by some analysts, would anchor them in an all-island context. Quite clearly, it is past its sell by date as the party of northern nationalists. Sinn Fein has effectively stolen it's political attire and left it naked.

As for the DUP, it is hoist on it's own petard. By elevating the Protocol to a principle, it committed an act of political suicide, which was compounded by the refusal to accept a potential Sinn Fein first minister. Such undisguised arrogance infuriated nationalists and drove them into the arms of Sinn Fein. Whoever came up with this cunning electoral strategy needs shot at dawn.

What we are looking at is a lengthy period of Sinn Fein dominance in a British assembly. A party that once had 'Smash Stormont' as a primary political demand, now seeks to manifest it's position by restoring devolution. Of course, they will say it's not the same Stormont. 

Blah, blah, blah.

Alec McCrory 
is a former blanketman.

3 comments:

  1. Irrespective of Sinn Feins dilution of republicanism, which is plain to see, the DUP, or perhaps UDUP (Undemocratic Unionist Party) are refusing to nominate a Deputy First Minister. They are using the protocol as an excuse for this, instead of accepting they lost. If it was not the protocol it would be someother bolloxks of an excuse. Brandon Lewis is unofficially backing his right-wing allies in the six counties, and any form of republicanism will not do for the DUP. A"Protestant Parliament for a Protestant People" is what the DUP want, like the days of yore.

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  2. It is pretty much the outplaying of the internal solution that is the GFA. Unity only by consent of a majority in the North is the house rule which they have all agreed to play by. It was always the British state position and remains no different today. An important psychological win for nationalism but it is something that is sealed from the constitutional question. Unionism is damaged but not the union perhaps approximates closely to the state of play.

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  3. As a Unionist, I can affirm that the sole reason for not running the Assembly is the Protocol. It may seem unimportant to those unconcerned with the Union, but it is crucial to Unionists. It would be a hole below the waterline for the Union, if allowed to stand.

    The DUP, at least several of the leadership, might have been willing to adopt the UUP position on it, running the Assembly and hoping Boris would rescue them. But they knew that would finish the DUP.

    A lot could be said about the DUP's messing that led to the Protocol, but the ordinary Unionist has given them the chance to redeem themselves on it. If they weaken, they will not be forgiven.

    I can see how Nationalists might think the real reason is a refusal to play second fiddle to SF now that SF is due 1st Minister. And the refusal of all Unionist parties to affirm they would accept a Deputy role supports that.

    But only the Agreement rejectionists think like that. TUV only, with maybe a few DUP old guard. The Unionist parties should have had the honesty to affirm their willingness to take the Deputy role, if SF had the largest number of seats. They would always have done so, however reluctantly. The only proviso is that the Agreement was working properly. It has been, albeit with hiccups like the RHI scandal.

    But the Protocol ended that. It is a direct tampering with the Union, without Unionist consent. If it stands, the Assembly will fall. This is not a Unionist ploy.

    Who knows where this could end? Boris could refuse to budge and threaten Direct Rule with a strong Irish dimension. Even Joint Authority. It won't change hearts.

    Much better to remove the constitutional problem and get back to working together, even if it is with a SF First Minister.

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