Three years ago I started using a term on a well know political discussion board. The term was (all together now) ….LETSGETALONGERISM.
I ventured to suggest that there are three communities in Norn Ireland. Irish/Republican/Catholic and British/Unionist/Protestand….and a third community LetsGetAlongerists….which included a golden halo of folks in the over-blown cross community field and politicians such as the Alliance Party who have no actual policy other than their personal advancement.
For some peculiar reason my analysis did not/does not go down well with tthe Golden Halo, Conflict Resolutionists, the Alliance Party and their apologists in the media, discussion boards and lobbying firms.
The great achievement of Satan (Lucifer, the Devil, Old Nick) has been to convince the worlds that he and Evil do not actually exist. The great achievement of LetsGetAlongerists has been to convince Norn Iron that they don’t actually exist. Rather like thebDevil, they prefer to work in the shadows. I don’t think I am being judgemental….am I?
So I confess to being a little surprised to read the blog of Ian Parsley, small business man and politician (per Wikipedia) that he believes the year 2015 could be the year of the “three tribes” (nationalists, unionists and…..”progressives”. Alas I cannot comment on Mr Parsleys blog. This dates back a couple of years when he wrote a blog noting the importance of party loyalty and I made a comment supporting him and acknowledging his expertise….having been loyal to more than one political party. I understand he is now back with the Alliance Party. Anyway Mr Parsley interpreted my comment as not being supportive and suggested that I was “playing the man”. A bit over-sensitive.Anyway “progressives” sounds a very positive third tribe. I dunno….does LetsGetAlongerist seem a bit…negative? Either way, the progressive Mr Bullick of the Alliance Party….last week he got 1.3% of the votes in Mid Ulster….iws doesn’t seem to be a particuarly good year for him.
But who are these progressive voices? Clearly Mr Parsley has his own current party (Alliance) in mind. But a tip of the hat surely to the McUnionists (McCrea and McCallister).
There seems to me to be a lack of energy with Basil and John. They took years to leave the UUP and seem to be taking as long to actually launch a new party.
All of a sudden LetsGetAlongerism seems a crowded field. Alliance apologists openly regret that Basil and John did not sign up to Alliance….as there is so little difference between them….which seems to come close to suggesting Alliance is a liberal unionist party….but surely not cos Alliance is ya know “agnostic”.
Curiously Ian Parsley (currently in the Alliance Party….it’s hard to keep up isn’t it.?) ridicules the Conservative Party (never a member apparently) for their inability to attract Basil and John intotheir Party even though it already has a Party structure. Surely Alliance also failed to attract them.
What are we to make off all this? A crowded middle ground is not good news for the Alliance Party and their apologists. The experience competing against the Women’s Coalition haunts Alliance and the spectre of Greens, Conservatives and McUnionists looms large. Naomi Long will lose East Belfast to an agreed unionist. The Greens already hold a key middle ground seat in North Down and at least one Alliance Assembly seat will go in East Belfast.