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Party Politics in NI


Cruimh

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Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
85,704
Robinson-McGuinness plan to tackle sectarianism criticised

For me this illustrates why we struggle to make headway here - kneejerk condemnations from the parties other than SF and the DUP. The sooner the SDLP and the UUP are extinct the better.

This problem is hundreds of years old - and yet there is supposed to be a magic cure which Robinson and McGuinness should have identified.

So - offer something to start the ball rolling - and get shot down by the rest of the pack who are agin it because it comes from their rivals. Try and discuss anything significant and the sectarian card is played.

Something has been offered. The next step is for people to make suggestions as to how it could and should be improved and implemented.
But there is an election coming - so no chance.
 

DerryBee

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Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
322
I have to say that I very much agree with your sentiments and share your frustration. In an ideal world, opposition should be both principled and constructive but far too often in Northern Ireland all political parties, but particularly the SDLP and the UUP in recent years have resorted to knee-jerk criticisms and have failed to engage objectively with other political parties, namely the DUP and Sinn Fein. The recent outbreak of near hysteric’s, finger-pointing and accusations of ‘sectarianism’ in reaction to Peter Robinson’s education statement is a prime example of the immaturity, and refusal of certain political parties to participate in a mature and open debate without the need to bang the sectarian drum as a means of opposition.

By all accounts Peter Robinson’s speech should have precipitated a mature and sensible debate concerning education in Northern Ireland and yet inspite of the near groundbreaking nature the First Minister’s speech, the valid and very real concerns expressed in his statement were simply swept aside and belittled as nothing more than sectarian ‘rabble rousing’ of which it was most certainly not. In relation to the plans offered by both the DUP and Sinn Fein in regards to ending sectarianism, I feel that those proposals should have been objectively hailed insomuch that both parties are working towards consensus and if criticism was to be made then such criticism should have taken place within the context of other political parties at the very least acknowledging the efforts which have already been made by Robinson and McGuinness, and which are due to be enlarged and enriched by public opinion etc.

It is a very unfortunate situation but obviously not unique to Northern Ireland but I do find criticism for criticism sake rather tiresome, particularly when one observes the daily proceedings of the Northern Ireland assembly. Bizarrely, the two political parties which had previously been viewed by many as the most extreme in Northern Ireland, the DUP and Sinn Fein are now acting entirely responsibly and the moderates, the architects of the Good Friday Agreement, the SDLP and the UUP are more often than not guilty of engaging in cheap party politics and being deliberately obstructive beyond reason. For example, I have friends who previously voted the SDLP in the past and yet they are deeply resentful of Margaret Ritchie and feel that she is an extremely poor leader. Her knee-jerk criticisms and over the top response to Robinson’s education statement (including the apparent beating of the Catholic drum) has left some of my friends scratching their heads in sheer dismay, and although they would never vote Sinn Fein they are hugely disappointed in the direction the SDLP is making particularly under Ritchie’s stewardship because they feel that she is deliberately obstructive and makes criticism for criticism sake.

I think that it is all very interesting and of course no political party is immune, particularly in Northern Ireland of engaging in tribalism but I have to say that I have been very – surprisingly – impressed by the responsible work of the DUP and Sinn Fein, especially since Hillsborough, and very disheartened by the SDLP and the UUP, both of which would appear – as Peter Robinson once jokingly suggested ‘got ruptured’ in the process of doing the heavy lifting of the peace process. In many respects the sooner the SDLP and the UUP stop bemoaning their dwindling political fortunes and whingeing about their ‘heavy lifting’ (of which they can rightly be proud) the more forward looking both parties may become within the assembly.
 

blinding

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Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
17,838
In the interests of balance the Unionist should go into a voluntary opposition position for , lets say 25 years.

It would be a good way of trying to reconcile their misuse of power from partition to the late sixties.

Constructive opposition would be good learning experience for them and would be a good education for them about sharing power when they did get back to participate in goverment.
 

Cruimh

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
85,704
In the interests of balance the Unionist should go into a voluntary opposition position for , lets say 25 years.

It would be a good way of trying to reconcile their misuse of power from partition to the late sixties.

Constructive opposition would be good learning experience for them and would be a good education for them about sharing power when they did get back to participate in goverment.
a sensible contribution ..... not.
 

McLovin01

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
9
on the unionist side the problem is that the UUP has no reason to exist as it and the DUP are very similar, could anyone tell me what policies they deffer on? Both are central right, unionists leaning left can support the Alliance party.
 

Lionel Hutz

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
39
Robinson-McGuinness plan to tackle sectarianism criticised

For me this illustrates why we struggle to make headway here - kneejerk condemnations from the parties other than SF and the DUP. The sooner the SDLP and the UUP are extinct the better.

This problem is hundreds of years old - and yet there is supposed to be a magic cure which Robinson and McGuinness should have identified.

So - offer something to start the ball rolling - and get shot down by the rest of the pack who are agin it because it comes from their rivals. Try and discuss anything significant and the sectarian card is played.

Something has been offered. The next step is for people to make suggestions as to how it could and should be improved and implemented.
But there is an election coming - so no chance.
To be fair this was really bad. The strategy was never going to tackle everything but it should have done more than raised the issue.

I have to say that I very much agree with your sentiments and share your frustration. In an ideal world, opposition should be both principled and constructive but far too often in Northern Ireland all political parties, but particularly the SDLP and the UUP in recent years have resorted to knee-jerk criticisms and have failed to engage objectively with other political parties, namely the DUP and Sinn Fein. The recent outbreak of near hysteric’s, finger-pointing and accusations of ‘sectarianism’ in reaction to Peter Robinson’s education statement is a prime example of the immaturity, and refusal of certain political parties to participate in a mature and open debate without the need to bang the sectarian drum as a means of opposition.

By all accounts Peter Robinson’s speech should have precipitated a mature and sensible debate concerning education in Northern Ireland and yet inspite of the near groundbreaking nature the First Minister’s speech, the valid and very real concerns expressed in his statement were simply swept aside and belittled as nothing more than sectarian ‘rabble rousing’ of which it was most certainly not. In relation to the plans offered by both the DUP and Sinn Fein in regards to ending sectarianism, I feel that those proposals should have been objectively hailed insomuch that both parties are working towards consensus and if criticism was to be made then such criticism should have taken place within the context of other political parties at the very least acknowledging the efforts which have already been made by Robinson and McGuinness, and which are due to be enlarged and enriched by public opinion etc.

It is a very unfortunate situation but obviously not unique to Northern Ireland but I do find criticism for criticism sake rather tiresome, particularly when one observes the daily proceedings of the Northern Ireland assembly. Bizarrely, the two political parties which had previously been viewed by many as the most extreme in Northern Ireland, the DUP and Sinn Fein are now acting entirely responsibly and the moderates, the architects of the Good Friday Agreement, the SDLP and the UUP are more often than not guilty of engaging in cheap party politics and being deliberately obstructive beyond reason. For example, I have friends who previously voted the SDLP in the past and yet they are deeply resentful of Margaret Ritchie and feel that she is an extremely poor leader. Her knee-jerk criticisms and over the top response to Robinson’s education statement (including the apparent beating of the Catholic drum) has left some of my friends scratching their heads in sheer dismay, and although they would never vote Sinn Fein they are hugely disappointed in the direction the SDLP is making particularly under Ritchie’s stewardship because they feel that she is deliberately obstructive and makes criticism for criticism sake.

I think that it is all very interesting and of course no political party is immune, particularly in Northern Ireland of engaging in tribalism but I have to say that I have been very – surprisingly – impressed by the responsible work of the DUP and Sinn Fein, especially since Hillsborough, and very disheartened by the SDLP and the UUP, both of which would appear – as Peter Robinson once jokingly suggested ‘got ruptured’ in the process of doing the heavy lifting of the peace process. In many respects the sooner the SDLP and the UUP stop bemoaning their dwindling political fortunes and whingeing about their ‘heavy lifting’ (of which they can rightly be proud) the more forward looking both parties may become within the assembly.
the greatest attacks on Robinson's statement that I heard were from Sinn Fein and in particular John O'Dowd who seemed to be on every radio programme about it.

Ritichie said the following:

"This is typical Peter Robinson," said Ms Ritchie.

"On the one hand he says the most visionary thing ever said by a DUP politician about our divided society, and then he spoils it with an old-fashioned political sideswipe at Catholic schools.

"He is still right that we should aim for a future where our children are increasingly educated together - but blaming Catholics for the division is shameful and totally the wrong place to start."

Anybody who read Robinson's statement would have seen it as a thinly veiled attack on the catholic sector. The thrust of it was that catholic schools should no longer be state-funded. In view of that, Ritichie'scomments were amongst the most balanced.
 

DerryBee

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
322
Anybody who read Robinson's statement would have seen it as a thinly veiled attack on the catholic sector. The thrust of it was that catholic schools should no longer be state-funded. In view of that, Ritichie'scomments were amongst the most balanced.
To be fair, but Robinson did not specifically mention or single out the Catholic education sector during his speech, would his education statement not also include Protestant schools too as suggested by the Irish Times during the weekend? From my own personal experience friends and colleagues who would never praise Robinson have actually strongly supported his speech and do not see his statement as an attack.
 

Cruimh

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Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
85,704
As I said before - reminds me of the 60s in reverse - any hint of reform and neanderthals banged the big drum , played the Orange Card and cried "the fenians are coming!" This time round Robinson says something sensible and the Stoops play the Catholic card and cry "the Jaffas are trying to turn our children into protestants" - and of course SF have to play ball.
 

Green eyed monster

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Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
2,438
As I said before - reminds me of the 60s in reverse - any hint of reform and neanderthals banged the big drum , played the Orange Card and cried "the fenians are coming!" This time round Robinson says something sensible and the Stoops play the Catholic card and cry "the Jaffas are trying to turn our children into protestants" - and of course SF have to play ball.
Catholic children aren't inducted into prod bashing while in Catholic schools, wish i could say the same for children associated with the Orange Order though, the Orange parades do more than anything to make Catholic children sectarian too i would imagine. The problem for Robinson is that he is imagining something that does not exist inside Catholic schools, bigotry being taught against the other side...

If it's just a question of bringing children from the two divides into contact, use some other method - organise day trips or something.
 

Cruimh

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Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
85,704
Catholic children aren't inducted into prod bashing while in Catholic schools, wish i could say the same for children associated with the Orange Order t
The Orange order don't run any schools you muppet! petunia

Bernadette spoke of politics and her school - though doubtless you will pretend it was all very ecumenical LOL

Catholic Schools were involved in the politics of the late 60s ......

As for mixing together - the catholic Church in Scotland objected to the idea of a protestant and catholic school sharing a playground .....
 

Green eyed monster

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Feb 13, 2008
Messages
2,438
The Orange order don't run any schools you muppet! petunia

Bernadette spoke of politics and her school - though doubtless you will pretend it was all very ecumenical LOL

Catholic Schools were involved in the politics of the late 60s ......

As for mixing together - the catholic Church in Scotland objected to the idea of a protestant and catholic school sharing a playground .....
They run those little marching organisations don't they? Those are organisations of indoctrination as well, the kids pick up everything they really shouldn't by emulating the older orangies.

The Archbishop has asserted the rights of NI Catholic schools to enjoy the same option as the schools in other parts of the UK of GB and NI.

They don't have to mix together even, just don't indoctrinate them with hateful messages. Sure there could be gang issues but gang issues will always crop up irrespective of religion, kids from one neighbourhood might form a gang against kids from another even though nothing (race, colour creed etc) divides them. What can make it different in NI is the supplementary sectarianism they pick up around them... The OO (and the reaction to it) provides a lot of that.
 

Cruimh

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Apr 30, 2010
Messages
85,704
They run those little marching organisations don't they? Those are organisations of indoctrination as well, the kids pick up everything they really shouldn't by emulating the older orangies.

The Archbishop has asserted the rights of NI Catholic schools to enjoy the same option as the schools in other parts of the UK of GB and NI.

They don't have to mix together even, just don't indoctrinate them with hateful messages. Sure there could be gang issues but gang issues will always crop up irrespective of religion, kids from one neighbourhood might form a gang against kids from another even though nothing (race, colour creed etc) divides them. What can make it different in NI is the supplementary sectarianism they pick up around them... The OO (and the reaction to it) provides a lot of that.
What percentage of children in my community have any meaningful contact with the Orange order then ? petunia

You are such a neanderthal.

"They don't have to mix together" - back to the fear that children might become protestants ? It might be contagious ?
 

Green eyed monster

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Feb 13, 2008
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What percentage of children in my community have any meaningful contact with the Orange order then ? petunia
I don't know, i do know what it represents. I know the leader is quite mad. I know there are youth OO organisations.

You are such a neanderthal.
If what i have been reading of them is true, thanks.

"They don't have to mix together" - back to the fear that children might become protestants ? It might be contagious ?
Giving the game away then without even being pressed? Very slippery of you... ;)
 

Cruimh

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Apr 30, 2010
Messages
85,704
I don't know, i do know what it represents. I know the leader is quite mad. I know there are youth OO organisations.



If what i have been reading of them is true, thanks.



Giving the game away then without even being pressed? Very slippery of you... ;)
I'm not the one opposing the communities mixing as children ... That was the RC Church.

But you are prepared to rattle away about the Orange Order in relation to integrated education when they don't run any schools and not many chidren have a lot of contact with them ......

No comment about Bernadette and her school ? Or the involvement of Catholic Schools in the politics of the 60s ?
 

Warren Poynt

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Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
2,139
Just curious.

1. To whom do left of centre Protestants vote for ?

2. Where is the natural home for left of centre Protestants ? It certainly is not the Alliance Party.

Maybe, I'm being too pessimistic but the thought occurs to me: is there such a species of a left of centre (social democrat) Protestant.

Not trying to hijack this thread. Just curious.
 
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