Oscar Wilde had a way with words. So did Mark Twain. So …in his own way….does Newton Emerson.
Oscar Wilde said something about us lying in the gutter but some of us are looking up at the stars. Newton Emerson said nothing quite as inspirational.
I see Newt’s Wikipedia entry states that he describes himself as a “liberal unionist”. I see that someone is trying to update his wikipedia entry (21st October 2012)…hmmm.
“Liberal unionist” is a category of people who have achieved little in fifty odd years. Ultimately they are all have to make a choice. Liberalism or Unionism. And usually the issue is Civil Rights. Newt wont be the first self-described liberal unionist to have a crisis of conscience.
Which road will he choose? Well the bullish response to his brush with the headlines suggests he will bluff it out as a victim. An unlikely victim of “political correctness gone maaaaaaaaaaaad”. And that suggests that he might choose Unionism over Liberalism. To retain any credibility as a “liberal”, Newt would have to don some sackcloth and ashes and mumble a few “mea culpsa” (if he soesnt find the term objectionable).
A third course of action might be to learn to play the flute and apply to a Portadown band.
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde..it is better to be talked about than to not be talked about. So in an odd way the SDLP can take some satisfaction that Newton Emerson has been talking about them. And Peter Robinson too for that matter. The story of the past few weeks is that the SDLP is actually being talked about….it has made itself relevant. Whether its Parades, Nelson McCausland, Welfare Reform…..the SDLP is now much more part of the narrative.
Which brings me to Mark Twain……..who said that reports of his death were greatly exaggerated.
Reports of SDLPs terminal decline seem a bit exaggerated too.