Welcome Back Newt!

I see Brian Walker the unionist (I hesitate to say “liberal unionist”) commentator on Slugger O’Toole has drawn attention to an article by potty-mouthed “liberal unionist” journalist Newton Emerson in one of todays papers.

Seemingly Newt welcomes the collapse of the UUP and SDLP as a means of bolstering the “middle ground” (that would be the Alliance Party).

It has long been my belief that there is an agenda …shared by key Slugger contributors and their allegedly influential backers to bolster the Alliance Party. Walker’s dwelling on Newt’s article does little to make me re-consider my analysis.

I think we can look forward to more of the same kinda attacks on the SDLP by Emerson.

The game plan of the letsgetalongerists is to undermine SDLP and UUP.

Clearly the UUP is imploding……..and it was certainly true that SDLP was in decline. SDLP, I think most would agree have had a pretty good year. While Newt cries crocodile tears for Samuel Brush (DUP councillor), I wonder if the SDLP revival is really whats needling Emerson.


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18 Responses to Welcome Back Newt!

  1. Saw that and this narrative that Nevin is pushing about the SDLP trying to get with dissidents or get there support it’s completely bonkers tbh, sometimes I wouldn’t accuse some of thought.

    Looking forward to hear the feedback on the convention, shame I can’t make it though!

    • Its been a long time since I have been this optimistic. A few things that are still problematic. But generally a very good year.
      Nationalists NEED the SDLP to be back in the game……and I put it no higher than that……”in the game” and thats what really pisses Newt, Walker, Stratagem, Slugger and the rest of the motley crew of lets getalongerists.

      • It is funny watching them getting peeved over there, oh woe is me, why can’t we all get along, why are people still concentrating on the constitutional question etc etc.

        I believe I am allowed to have a postal vote and it’s for Upper Bann too. I am definitely considering using it for the SDLP more than previously. Why? Well, Nationalism NEEDS a second party, we need a whole range of voices and we need to be countering the faux letsgetalongerist nonsense which is really unionism lite.

        Also, Nevin is commenting ALL of the time now. It is insufferable boring stuff too. He’s a bit like this guy

      • Music to my ears re at least having a choice.
        My own sons have been saying exactly the same thing.

      • oops now its opened up 🙂

  2. hoboroad says:

    A strong SDLP forces SF to up its game. Nationalism in the Six Counties is big enough to support two political parties. The UUP is dying on its arse.

  3. bangordub says:

    Things are getting interesting 😉

  4. bangordub says:

    It is a perfectly viable and honourable position to wish for the emergence of a non aligned centrist party and to argue for that. It seems somewhat underhanded, not to mention, disingenuous, to seek to achieve that end by means of sleight of hand or slant of word. It betrays a lack of belief in the ability of such a party to emerge on its own merits.
    In my view there are two possiblilities if this is what is happening:
    1. Hands are at work driving an agenda for their own purposes.
    2. The writers in question are being manipulated.

    I have one question.
    Cui Bono?

    • I think it has a lot to do with 50% plus one……
      I was actually working on a paper this week (3,604 words so far) and I was looking at my life in 1962. Born into a British NHS, a father on imemployment or sickness benefit and about to sit the British 11 plus.
      A unionist trying to sell Britishness had therefore three aces. But it was all undermined by Jobs, Housing and political discrimination such as Flags and Emblems, gerrymandering etc.
      The letsgetalongerists want to take us back to that position and put right those three areas of contention.
      In a perfect world…..for them…….SDLP is taken out and there is effectively a power block Alliance who can delay that 50% plus one.
      Thats the strategy.
      Take UUP and SDLP out of the equation.
      There is a difficulty with this……in attracting UUP voters, AP alienates SDLP voters. in attracting Tories it alienates lefties. The strategists behind the scenes on non existent web logs would probably prefer a multiple group of middle ground people……NI Labour, Tory, Alliance to maximise the middle ground vote.

      • bangordub says:

        Ah, the aul 50%+1 thing.
        It’s funny how that is always at the core of most conversations, elections, arguments etc.
        It’s also interesting to me that once that 50%+1 is achieved, as it has been in an increasing number of places, things essentially settle.
        Geographically, in terms of territory, the North is now a majority Nationalist entity. Most of the major population centres are now majority Nationalist. The major arguments have been fought and won by Nationalists.
        Southern parties are now engaging with Northern Nationalists in a serious way. Arguing with them actually. You argue with your potential opponents. That’s good politics. You ignore those who are no threat to you.
        Meanwhile, the DUP are paying lip service to outreach even though they know it’s nonsense. The UUP……..never mind. And meanwhile the Utopian ideal of the middle ground Alliancalista’s plough their same field with no clue.
        The reality of politics here, to my eye, is that there is no middle ground. There are degrees either side of the dividing line but that line still exists no matter how much you blur the sight of it. Same as the border in a way.

      • BD,

        Can I say, the above is perhaps the single most sound assessment I have read in a very long while about how things are up here, I applaud you out loud btw.

        I like the thought or point re southern parties taking on northern parties, I can see this as being something we will hopefully see more of because they will increasingly be challenging each other.

        Suggestion to the SDLP, how about you try and create something in the South. They are the only left leaning party on the island that have not been discredited and you have a Noble Peace winner! Even try the other 3 Ulster counties and then move from there ffs! Come on lads, no one would expect you to do that, take the Labour vote and be the northern Nat party that southerners wouldn’t have any problem voting for sure…

  5. bangordub says:

    Thanks FC,
    It’s frustating sometimes, you know the feeling!
    Completely agree with your suggestion of the SDLP standing in Cavan/ Monaghan/ Donegal….why not?

    • Oh, it’s well frustrating BD, but in a slightly perverse way I actually enjoy it as it means our crowd must be getting somewhere or getting closer to our objective, otherwise why would they refuse this suggestion in a knee jerk fashion?

      I know that SDLP suggestion is somewhat mad, but we know that a lot of Labour supporters are peeved with what they see. It is a very interesting party seeing as it is an amalgamation of Labour, the Workers Party (Old IRA) and the Progressive Left and the 2nd guys are now in charge as opposed to nos 1 and 3. The idea came to me when I was typing; why doesn’t the SDLP try something down South? Even try something in Donegal, like Muff or Letterkenny? They are massive in Doire, Doire has a massive influence in that part of Donegal, why not build on that whether by loose affiliation or something more official? Friends of the SDLP or something?

  6. Irish Aussie says:

    I think I can give you a good reason why the SDLP shoudn’t be wasting its time, money and resources on Cavan, Donegal etc.
    At the last Assembly elections the SDLP lost a seat in F/ST (where my family hail from) and failed to win one in Strangford, it got 0.8% of the vote in East Belfast (shameful result) and 2.7% in North Down, I could go on but im sure you get my point.

    In politics you are only as good as your last election and for the SDLP it was an unmitigated disaster.

    I’m a lot less sanguine about the SDLP’s supposed resurgence, the SDLP are in a very difficult position and the next Assembly elections are going to be crucial for them and Nationalism in general.
    Because of the position that the SDLP find themselves in, the next Assembly elections must be the sole focus of their attention and they need to fight those elections hard and they need to fight them smart.

    The SDLP should be identifiying good candidates for all 18 electorates, they should be raising funds (crucial), putting in place resources and developing policies and most important of all, political strategy for the next elections and they should be doing it NOW.

    The first part of that strategy should be to run hard in all 18 electorates and get the overall vote up, there has got to be more SDLP votes in places like EB, ND, LV, it looks good on the CV and its hard to accuse your party of dying if the overall vote has gone up.

    At the risk of stateing the obvious the SDLP need to show a strong, united, determined and confident face to the electorate and i don’t see that yet. If the SDLP serve up another preformance like 2011 it could well destroy the party and set back the Nationalist project a generation, breaking mine and alot of other peoples hearts in the process

    Politics is not a game, it is a very serious business, no more so than the North East corner of Ireland. The SDLP has all the work it can handle and then some in the North and it still has a long way to go to be fit for purpose in my opinion.

    • two different points here. SDLP wont stand in the Republic. It needs the goodwill of southern parties and donors and effectively the European Socialists have a franchise system. Irish Labour (worse than useless admittedly and too many Stickies) have the southern franchise.
      Likewise British Labour wont stand in Norn Iron.
      One of the key points of optimism is that SDLP finished seventh in several constituencies.
      Even at this stage I would say SDLP will win back Fermanagh-South Tyrone, we are talking about 70 votes. A lot of energy will go in there. Lets not forget people on a nameless website were writing SDLP off in West Tyrone and Strabane in particular.
      The objective for SDLP in the next Assembly will be to come out with the same seats plus one or two. I think they will do that.
      Being a party member is a different dynamic from being a “neutral” and Im limited in what I can say. Lets just say…..with the proviso that it is still too far off……..that the SDLP operation next time round will be very very professional.
      I cant let East Belfast pass……SDLP got 250 votes at Assembly level. This was a disaster indeed. Yet in the same candidate (and shes a friend) got over 200 in a council DEA (Victoria). Another candidate ( also a friend) got 450 in Pottinger DEA (about 250 of these are in East Belfast). SDLP also got 300 votes in Castlereagh Central DEA (this is in East Belfast).

      So curiously the SDLP got 750 council votes in East Belfast on the same day they got 250 at Assembly level. It cant be the candidates fault and not related to her Polish nationality as she did ok at council level…..presumably people in Victoria were happy enough to vote for her at Council level.
      So there was considerable tactica voting there. And Alliance picked up a seat.
      My record on Alliance is consistent. I said before 2011 it was stupid for Alliance to be given second preferences as the extra seat anywhere in Norn Iron would give them TWO Executive seats.
      Next time round all over Norn Iron SDLP will be treating Alliance as an enemy.

  7. kalista63 says:

    The poor Letsgetalongerists had a tough few months there. How the poor BBC had to fluctuate about whether the tune played outside St Patrick’s was or was not (last deemed as ‘allegedly) sectarian. Then poor Sinn Fein were caught off guard at the public reaction to same (even though it was filmed by, among others, a party member) and then their very late attempt to hijack the situation was wrong footed by the parish priest and parishoners.

    Then the poor LGAists had a multi national’s Shore Road store hijacked for a week by the local UVF fanclud. Again, SF were caught flat footed wth the SDLP stepping up to the plate in the form of Alban Maginniss.

    Probably inspired by a century of realising that democracy ain’t all that, the pan unionists decided to raise the stakes with more sectarian behaviour, including organising riot at a republican parade which resulted in 3 nights of such and 40 odd police officers injured. Oh, how that had to be played down, whilst the numbers of republicans involved was played up, as if a matching number.

    Were it ever anything other, the Covenant commemorations pluralist credentials were crushed to microscopic pieces but the LGAists still struggled inspite of a bandsman urination in a chapel’s grounds and the purple faced loyalist women as they creamed vile abuse at fellow loyalists who were cursed with a shred of decency and respect.

    Thankfully for the LGA industry, no one really gave a toss about last Sunday’s loyalist march and they can relax for a few months after such a tiring elongated marching season.

    There’s been much learning this last few months and that unionism has not moved on inch for decades, is the biggest, verifiable one of all.

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