Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not one of my best posts...!

This really does reek of desperation:
A DESCRIPTION of the Orange Order as a "backward-facing, history-obsessed, parish pump society" has stirred controversy in relation to the Ulster Unionist's partnership talks with the Tories.

The comment is included on the Northern Ireland Conservatives' website and has been highlighted by the DUP as it continues to call into question the idea of a merger or some other deal between the UUP and David Cameron's party.

DUP MLA Edwin Poots alleged the UUP now appeared to be cosying up to the Tories and forgetting the Orange Institution.

"It is sad to witness the Ulster Unionist Party abandoning this valued and much-loved part of our community as they rush to embrace an anti-Orange agenda," he said.

Poor Edwin, no longer Culture Supremo and with his beloved Shared Future Stadium floating gently down the Suwanee, obviously has too much time on his hands.

I read the post in question; at the time I think I (and others certainly did) commented that it was an OTT personal attack on an institution which really the Tories have no reason to be concerned with nor bothered about. But that was all it was a personal opinion, not a declaration of party policy. And if the UUP are "forgetting" the Orange Institution in favour of adopting a more pan-UK Unionist approach, that's actually a good thing for anyone who believes we are an integral part of the Union and not some self-governing, semi-autonomous, Prodistan tribal state governed by social reactionaries.


Anonymous said...

OTT - yes. Damaging - yes. The completely senseless comments by the editor on that site were beyond belief. It was embarrassing for the NI Tories then but becomes damaging for the UUP now.

The UUP's best reply would be to distance themselves from the NI Tories stating that they are not reflective of the Conservative Party.

But in regards the DUP attacking the UUP for comments made by the NI Tories - get used to it. That coupled with comments by UUP MLAs MPs etc in regards to past tory activities will be increasingly highlighted.

Anonymous said...

It's the Suwanee river, not the Swanee. Carry on.

Anonymous said...

The LOL, that bastion of toleration (sic) which says it is celebrating toleration (!).

Putting the moron into Oxymoron.


O'Neill said...

It's the Suwanee river, not the Swanee

Not according to my book of British Imperialist Geography 1937 it ain't;) I've changed anyway to avoid offence.


I regret writing the post now, it was too much of a knee-jerk response to a person I consider a complete idiot (Poots)- I even forgot to title the flippim thing.

But anyway, it's written now, so, you've read my opinion on the OO before, it's ambivalent at best (that's not a judgement on the individual members) more the organisation as a whole.

As I wrote on Slugger, the ultimate aim of Unionism is to keep the UK together; in our part it should be to attract as many folk as possible in a Border Referendum to vote for the Union- that's our bottom line. Does political unionism's connection with the OO help or hinder that objective? I firmly believe it's the latter.

The DUP in this case are attempting once again to play the ethno-nationalist card, which may help them in the intra-unionist battle in certain places, but it will not eventually help the cause of unionism if we do not break once and for all the religious/communal/cultural chains that determine who is and who is not happy to consider themselves a Unionist.

Having said all that, it was an OTT and unnecessary comment and the Tories have been cowards to withdraw completely the thread from their site.

Anonymous said...

Does political unionism's connection with the OO help or hinder that objective? I firmly believe it's the latter.

The only party that did ever have a connection to the OO was the UUP and it has been divorced constitutionally for at least 3 years and in reality about 10 years. Quite frankly some within the NI Tories (Jeffrey Peel) get into Nationalist grievance territory and buy into their constructed narrative of the big bad uber prod unionist parties that are inextricably tied to both the OO and loyalist paramilitaries. Not only is that a complete fabrication but an insult.

To appeal beyond the current nature of NI politics you simply don't castigate the OO and fingers crossed convert nationalist or non voters. For unionism to succeed it has to be inclusive and all the UUP have to do is to assure everyone that they can feel welcome in their party and comfortable voting for the party.

The DUP here are not highlighting (in my opinion) inconsistencies in the UUP, but the reality facing the NI Tories and hoping that some mud sticks. It is the NI Tories that should be taking the heat at the minute.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully I've been successful in circumventing work's web filters and you get this comment.... (OK, there was no reason for me to include that except to say "Amn't I clever?")

I agree the Conservatives have been cowards to remove the post without comment*. Sad but not unsurprising, and probably a command from on high. We all know that a mainstream political party is not the place for controversial opinions.

I'm more or less with O'Neill on the OO. They do at least as much harm as good. They're good for the rallying the masses, but a disaster PR-wise for unionism.

* I'm all the more raging because I believe I had the first comment on that post and it could have directed serious traffic to Everything Ulster if that post suddenly got a lot of attention!