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Excellent thought piece by Alex Kane on Unionist Confidence, Flags, and Problems with the DUP


factual

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Confidence requires more than a flag

The past week or so has also conveyed another impression: namely, that unionism is still not very good at making a case and advancing a cause. So, instead of an attack dog leaflet against Alliance (which would, in any case, have made it very difficult for them to change their minds), why didn’t the DUP try a more subtle approach? Yes, by all means distribute a leaflet, but use it as a vehicle for a series of questions, responses and suggestions.


  • Do you know why we believe the Union Flag should fly 365 days at the City Hall?
  • Do you know why we think Sinn Fein wants to remove the flag entirely?
  • Do you think that such a move would actually aid the creation of a genuinely ‘shared space’?
  • Do you know that the political make-up of the council leaves the balance-of-power with Alliance?
  • We understand that Alliance has had a consistent policy of flying the flag on designated days and we respect their right to promote that policy. But since we believe that Sinn Fein and the SDLP are acting for purely personal political motives rather than in the pursuit of improving relationships we are asking the Alliance Party to support our position and retain the status quo.
  • In return for their support we will agree to convene an all-party committee of the Council parties to see if we can reach an agreement on flying the flag that would be acceptable to all of us.
  • If you support this approach then we would be pleased if you would approach Alliance Party officials and public representatives and make your views known to them.
There you are, a reasoned, considered and non-inflammatory approach: an approach that would have allowed Alliance to exercise a balance-of-power role that could have been easily explained and justified. And it would also have allowed the DUP to continue with the sort of language and strategy set out in Robinson’s speech.
There is a tendency, of course, for unionism to still prefer the kneejerk and megaphone to the calculated response and thought-through strategy. Pitching Alliance as the bad guy in all of this was never going to be a winner, particularly since it is unionism’s electoral underperformance which has put Alliance in the balance-of-power position. So instead of blaming Alliance – unionists should have been asking themselves why their vote has collapsed. Actually, instead of 30,000 leaflets putting the boot into Alliance the leaflets could have been used to ask unionists why they weren’t voting in the same numbers as they used to for the DUP, UUP and PUP?
As for the UUP!!! When Tom Elliott was pushed aside it was because he was considered inarticulate, uninspiring, devoid of vision, unappealing to pluralist/moderates and pushing the party too close to the DUP. Each and every one of those criticisms now applies to Nesbitt. If there is now any particular, discernible difference between the UUP and DUP (apart from their electoral performances) then maybe someone could point to it. Indeed, there have been so many joint statements, meetings, letters, leaflets and initiatives that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the conclusion that the UUP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the DUP.
I think it is interesting and I think Alex does point to an issue about political leaderhip.

These comments from within unionism are far more interesting than criticisms that come from without (it is the same in republicanism, criticism from within is more interesting than from without). So I thought it worth posting.

Does any unionist here think Alex has a point?

The topic relates to a broader one about outreach. Parties are still finding it hard to live up to their words on outreach, and that's a contradition. The traditional kneejerk reactions are not going to get us anywhere. We all have to leave them behind.
 

Galloper Thompson

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Confidence requires more than a flag



I think it is interesting and I think Alex does point to an issue about political leaderhip.

These comments from within unionism are far more interesting than criticisms that come from without (it is the same in republicanism, criticism from within is more interesting than from without). So I thought it worth posting.

Does any unionist here think Alex has a point?

The topic relates to a broader one about outreach. Parties are still finding it hard to live up to their words on outreach, and that's a contradition. The traditional kneejerk reactions are not going to get us anywhere. We all have to leave them behind.
Aye, and if only Hitler had sent the Russians wine and cheese instead.....................
 

theloner

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So this is the genius unionists are taking their lead from.:shock:

Paul Golding’s timeline of gaffes

February 2009 - Paul Golding is elected, beating Labour candidate Michael Hogg by 408 votes to 332.

August 2009 - He attends a BNP Red White and Blue family festival in Derbyshire - where an undercover News of the World reporter records a 12-year-old burning a gollywog. Mr Golding condemned these actions.

August 2009 - As part of the BNP’s anti-media campaign, Operation Fightback, he made a video to prove that a woman convicted of intimidating an Asian mother was not a BNP member. Later investigations confirmed that Helen Forster was a member, but had registered under a different name.

September 2009 - St Mary’s constituents accuse Mr Golding of “doing nothing” for them since his election.

October 2009 - The BNP threatens to boycott three News Shopper advertisers unless they pull their adverts, calling the paper “a particularly venomous anti-British left-wing propaganda outlet”.

February 2011 - Steps down as a Sevenoaks District Councillor.

Ex-Swanley BNP councillor heads new nationalist movement (From News Shopper)
Britain First
 
C

Castle Ray

Alex Kane does have a point. The Unionist parties in BCC were outmanoeuvred on this issue and failed to devise strategy to cope with it. Alliance were backed into a corner and blundered through the issue and were shown to have no capacity for delivering political change. Where is their shared future strategy? They walked out of the executive because DUP and SF have no interest in a shared future. They have failed miserably and simply followed their own preferred path in BCC without bringing their electorate with them and simply danced to the sectarian tune of the belligerent nationalism in BCC rather than dance to the tune of belligerent unionism in BCC. The result was a complete bollox which only left sectarian gloating for nationalism which brings none of us forward.
 

physicist

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Alex Kane does have a point. The Unionist parties in BCC were outmanoeuvred on this issue and failed to devise strategy to cope with it. Alliance were backed into a corner and blundered through the issue and were shown to have no capacity for delivering political change. Where is their shared future strategy? They walked out of the executive because DUP and SF have no interest in a shared future. They have failed miserably and simply followed their own preferred path in BCC without bringing their electorate with them and simply danced to the sectarian tune of the belligerent nationalism in BCC rather than dance to the tune of belligerent unionism in BCC. The result was a complete bollox which only left sectarian gloating for nationalism which brings none of us forward.
As usual Alex Kane has one point, it can be summed up in four words ...

Alex Kane said:
As for the UUP!!!
He seems to me no different from Mike Nesbitt, both journalists, UUP members, other than Nesbitt actually worked a bit to become parachuted into the leadership of the UUP, while Kane had offered nothing to the political environment here during the sum of his tenure in the UUP, and left into the vaccuum of what passes for Northern Irish journalism.

You get the same axe-grinding with Brian Feeney and the SDLP, Seán Ó Brádaigh and Sinn Féin and Gerry Lynch and the Alliance Party.
 

james toney

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Paul arrived in Belfast a couple of hours ago...........
No doubt contacted by that other facist Jim Dowson.
I thought it couldn't get any worse for Loyalism,when he was addressing the crowd of cowards the other night,but it seems it has,with this loon arriving on the scene.
Hope they give him a platform,and the cameras are there.
 

between the bridges

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99.9% of unionists haven't protested about the fleg and are obviously not too bothered, the fact that, that fact escapes most CNINR posters on here says more about them...
 

theloner

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99.9% of unionists haven't protested about the fleg and are obviously not too bothered, the fact that, that fact escapes most CNINR posters on here says more about them...
Ruth seems to think differently, listen to this bluster of hot air if you have five minutes of your life to waste.

[[video=youtube;4uUfZgRXDZY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4uUfZgRXDZY[/video]
 

Glenshane4

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In this week's Belfast Newspaper (I read it because I like being provoked) Alec Kane equated the Irish Tricolour flying on Sinn Fein HQ with the Union Flag flying on puplic property. He seems to regard Belfast City Hall as Protestant property.
 

death or glory

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Yes , perhaps glenshane4 you should have read the whole article and not just the headlines. I presume you meant Belfast Newsletter anyway.
My inerprettion of his point was if the flag issue isn't important to SF why do they fly a flag 365 days a year.
 

McSlaggart

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99.9% of unionists haven't protested about the fleg and are obviously not too bothered, the fact that, that fact escapes most CNINR posters on here says more about them...
Their does seem to be a big difference between unionists that I have met in Tyrone and those protesting. People are bringing up the topic and stating their anger at it or joke about how well Derry will do out of it.
 

Glenshane4

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Yes , perhaps glenshane4 you should have read the whole article and not just the headlines. I presume you meant Belfast Newsletter anyway.
My inerprettion of his point was if the flag issue isn't important to SF why do they fly a flag 365 days a year.
I did read the whole article. I gathered that Mr Kane thinks Catholics should endure continued Prod privilege because Prods will be cross if they lose all their privileges and are expected to live with Catholics as equals.
 
C

Castle Ray

I did read the whole article. I gathered that Mr Kane thinks Catholics should endure continued Prod privilege because Prods will be cross if they lose all their privileges and are expected to live with Catholics as equals.
Prods, Catholics, endurance, equals, privileges and loss of such things; are you sure your read about such things?
 

caulfield

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Their does seem to be a big difference between unionists that I have met in Tyrone and those protesting. People are bringing up the topic and stating their anger at it or joke about how well Derry will do out of it.
In some ways Tyrone unionists are a different species from Belfast unionists
If you are relying on your neighbours to help bring the hay in then religion is irrelevant
Maybe belfasties could learn something from culchies after all!
 

InsideImDancing

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In some ways Tyrone unionists are a different species from Belfast unionists
If you are relying on your neighbours to help bring the hay in then religion is irrelevant
Maybe belfasties could learn something from culchies after all!
Is Rodgers a culchie? He reckons he's targeting top two mate!
 

InsideImDancing

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cricket

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How soon before the working class loyalists involved in these demos realise they've been duped into lending support to the DUP campaign to win back Robinson's seat in East Belfast ? DUP need tribalism to emerge there, the opposite to Alliance's approach. Flags issue lent itself handsomely to the effort.
I wouldn't hold my breath though. Paisley and others made very lucrative political careers out of screaming that the Barbarians were at the gate for 40+ years, oxygen provided by the Provos. Pity is that, while the political masters could retreat to their stately pile at the end of the day, the working class who were driven into a frenzy filled jails and led lives of disadvantage.
Some day, hopefully.
 
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