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Newton Emerson is an Ulster Unionist commentator  writing for a predominantly Irish readership in the Irish Times. The Ulster Unionist and DUP are at loggerheads fighting for a share of the Unionist vote, and both hate Sinn Fein and what they see as Sinn Fein's chief fellow traveller in England over the past few decades, Jeremy Corbyn.

His logic here is impeccable. Unionists are viscerally opposed to a "border down the Irish Sea" as created by BoJo's deal. They would prefer "A SENSIBLE DEAL" aka May's deal which included all of the UK in the CUSM (thus avoiding a border down the Irish Sea) or failing that, no Brexit at all.

Problem is the DUP (rather unwisely, in his view) went all in for Brexit (as a bit of recreational nationalist bashing) and threw their lot in with the irredentist ERG Brexiteers (who are their ideological hard right fellow travellers on economics).

They therefore opposed May's deal which was far less harmful to their Unionist position believing the EU (Aka the Republic) would eventually fold and let them have their cake and eat it. But it was Boris who folded and sold them down the river.

Now the DUP have egg on their face to the unalloyed delight of all others including, more discretely, the Ulster Unionist Party, who have sashayed from a divided to a pro-Remain position.

Newton is simply revelling in the DUP's discomfort and pointing out the logic of their position, which is that they should support Corbyn's softer Brexit (which keeps all of the UK aligned with the CUSM and avoids a border down the Irish Sea) or else repent and go all in for Remain.

The fact that Corbyn is perceived as hard left while they are hard right should not be an impediment because they had been working with Sinn Fein in the N. Ireland Executive for years until they blew that working relationship - something they would now dearly like to recover in order to regain devolved executive power in N. Ireland.

Now they are back to square one - appealing to tribal loyalty to try to maintain their dominant position -  when everyone knows they are the authors of their own misfortune. They are unlikely to hold the balance of power again, and are now beholden to the goodwill of others who owe them nothing.

Not a good place to be.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 02:04:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Repetition of one contradiction in terms is not logic. That's a demo, or imitation, of psychotic behavior the writer and his patrons expect to see in NI but not from themselves.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 04:40:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you really want to see some near psychotic "mansplaining" try Alex Kane, formerly director of communications for the Ulster Unionist Party. My comment on his article is:
One long Unionist Whinge that the Remainers are actually uniting - contrary to what is happening on the "mainland". And trying to conflate Remainers with Nationalists is also a bit rich, given that 40% of unionists voted Remain. The fact that the same parties were prepared to stand aside for a unionist Remainer (Sylvia Herman) rather gives the lie to Alex Kane's attempt to claim this is all sectarian subterfuge. And last time I checked, neither the Greens nor the Alliance parties are nationalist parties.

The fact is that unionists of all ilks never got the significance of 60% of unionists trying to impose Brexit on the 56% of the total population who voted Remain, driving a coach and four through the GFA and erecting a hard border with the south. They seem genuinely shocked the Republic said no and the EU backed the Republic up.

The days of a majority of unionists imposing their rule on all of N. Ireland and dictating to either the UK or the EU are over - get over it. The sky will not come tumbling down if the DUP lose their majority of MPs and a few Remainer MPs actually take their seats.

It's not as if the DUP used their majorities to rule N. Ireland well - it is one of the poorest regions in the UK despite massive central Exchequer subsidies. Unionists will be the first to come running to the Republic if that £10 Bllion p.a. well ever runs dry, which it probably will if Brexit is the economic and fiscal disaster I expect it to be. And unionists will get a cold welcome in the south if all they can do is whinge about the sectarianism which they themselves imposed on the North for 100 years.

Grow up Alex Kane!



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 05:04:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lemme tell you one thing that cracks me up--how much and how often you rely, nearly exclusively, on the Irish Times to form an opinion. m'k.

Belfast Telegraph is one small, unreliable window into the creature comforts and internecine warfare, literally, within the colony--but at least I've become accustomed to the foibles of editorial management in its attempts to shepherd (or "curate" if one is feeling pretentious) public opinion(s) into the fold of middle-brow status quo. Can you say the same about the Irish Times or offer another source for The Mood to canvass, then synthesize an opinion about political changes in NI?

Northern Ireland Secretary of State suggests Assembly election to be called in new year
Were you aware Karen Bradley is redundant?
Are you aware who is current "shadow" Northern Ireland Secretary of State?

archived 22 Oct "no-deal"
The Bastid Queen Arlene won't like that one bit.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 06:48:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What you have written comes close to an ad hominem attack - why not address the substance of what I write?

Whatever... Unfortunately Ireland is a small country with v. limited independent media sources. The Belfast Telegraph is owned by Mediahuis which also owns the Irish Independent which publishes more of my letters than the Irish Times.

Both were previously owned by the litigious Irish Billionaire, Denis O'Brien, who made much of his fortune from the manner in which he acquired a government mobile phone operators licence and who stands accused of exercising an editorial veto on stories not in his interest. At least the Irish Times and Examiner are owned by an independent, not for profit trust, even if that is no guarantee of lack of editorial bias.

The UK papers generally have very poor coverage of Irish and N. Irish affairs, and to my shame, my knowledge of German, French and Spanish is not sufficient to give me confidence I can accurately parse commentary in those languages.  US coverage of Irish and European affairs is often derisory so I am left with relatively few local sources.

Given my lack of time to cast my net wider, I must sharply prioritise and make do with relatively few sources. Real life challenges and opportunities must take precedence! If you are not happy with my contributions you are under no obligation to comment and are, indeed, free to go elsewhere for you blogging entertainment.

I will ignore your other, insulting, questions.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 07:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To express skepticism for your preferred, single source of information--the Irish Times-- is an "ad hominem attack"? An insult?

hmmm. I don't know about that. US-English is the only language that I speak and read fluently. So I am confident, I have avoided ad hominem fallacy and personal insult in that language at this forum. Indirection in communication is a time-honored posture toward conflict resolution --"leading from behind" if you will rather than dictum--that I practice as best I can while remaining attentive to learning opportunities. Which is not to say that indirection disposes disagreement between correspondents. Disagreement is altogether a different communication problem for those who seek and esteem unanimity of experience, purpose, and opinions per se: the "authoritarian" pose.

I read to learn. Since the Panic of '08, reportage which I've consulted to depict systematic PIIGS recap(italization) and predict the trajectory of the '16 referendum by sampling diverse, pertinent measures of political economy in the region. I admit, I have left to curious eurotrib readers--known and unknown ("lurkers")--the work of validating quantitative and qualitative data over time, published by "government buildings" and collated by private parties. Sometimes these agree with OpEds in the Times, mostly they have not.

Perhaps my confirmation bias is objectionable. In which case direction either not to read or criticize OpEds published by the Times and quit commenting or "wallpapering" eurotrib with government instruments designed to foil good intentions of hapless subjects of opinion polls, would appear rational to all.

Time will tell.

archived
The border dividing Ireland will be abandoned ...
big moves in the quarter century
You will not be abandoned.
Not you (sing.). You (pl.)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Nov 16th, 2019 at 06:04:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
significance of 60% of unionists

[cite]

< wipes tears >
For several years I've been trying to get a bead on the five parties' membership (absolute numbers) by periodically trawling parties' web site PR. Percentages are meaningless if absolute number is unknown; voter registration by party appears unknown as is the custom throughout UK. The occasional caucus headcount is irrelevant. I've concluded (1) no number is published (2) imputing membership from electoral outcome facilitates hoary propaganda by minority factions (3) political "mandate" is more fluid than reported, YoY.

This electoral season surely is more ripe for ahh organizational hygiene than ever, precisely because Westminister and EU have ahh disintermediated monopolistic practices in colony. The question is not exit, but how to exit and who in Stormont will mete the proceeds.

What I can't fathom is why you would renounce the wisdom of a "special" customs territory which you had anticipated, lo these many years.

archived
Arlene's days are numbered.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 07:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
voter registration by party appears unknown

Voters do not register by party in the Irish or UK systems, or in most of Europe and the rest of the non-communist world, AFAIK. Publication of party membership is generally a matter for the parties themselves, if they so chose.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 07:49:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Nothing to see here. Keep calm. Carry on.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Nov 15th, 2019 at 07:23:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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