In which nice castle will we be having Northern Irish pols renegotiating the Agreement in then?

Am I jumping the gun a little? Perhaps, but my thanks to Hoboroad for sending me a link detailing TV Mike’s speech yesterday at a UUP conference where he went on to lament a few things they signed up to:

We have to stand up … we will have to learn to apologise for (our party’s) part in that.

Nesbitt’s speech hasn’t gotten much further attention over on BBC NI’s site or at the Newsletter, probably as he is a beleaguered leader and maybe the last leader of the much and rightly maligned UUP. Further, while he’s at it and now that he’s making apologies for things the UUP have done in the past I’m wondering will we hear him talk about what the party was up to from say 1910 to 1970? I’m being generous, I know.

The crowning glory of bringing some kind of stability to the North and the leader of a party that was its primary signatory is suffering from buyers remorse? Or preparing the ground to join up with Robbo and the others who left the UUP over signing the GFA, like Jeffrey and Arlene say? Is this part of the courtship and a big inter-unionist apology? We’ll see.

Meanwhile, First Minister Peter Robinson is calling for a boycott of the Irish News, why? Who knows. Probably because they’ve been asking questions about him and his travels to the States and lovely Brazil. Is there not something perverse about a states man calling for a boycott of a paper not to his liking? It just strikes as a desperate measure but then as Alex Kane has noted, he does seem to be particularly annoyed with life and his work in general:

‘SERIOUSLY, what is going on with Peter Robinson at the moment? Everything and everyone seems to be irritating him.’

I know, right? What’s eating Robbo?

‘For the first time in a very long time Peter Robinson looks and sounds uncomfortable: no longer in control of the political agenda. He has a well-deserved, hard-earned reputation as a very canny political operator.

At the moment, though, everything he does looks terribly old hat and depressingly kneejerk.’

Well, he isn’t in great form and he’s not had much in the way of good news since…I can’t remember. What with the flags debate, poor economic growth, being challenged by Wullie Frazier and now it would appear that even the Unionist Forum is not going too well either:

‘Grand Chaplain the Rev Mervyn Gibson said the body set up by Peter Robinson and Mike Nesbitt to tackle issues underpinning unionist discontent is not being properly resourced or administered.’

Uh oh, what’s going on guys? I thought the forum was going to solve all alleged problems with working class unionists, I would hate to hear that the hopes of some have been raised needlessly and that the forum was just a talking shop designed to give the illusion of trying to solve a problem in the vain hope it’ll just go away given time.

So, like I’ve said before, the GFA is over, what do you think will follow it because one side really appears to be doing all in its power to bury it as quick as possible.

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6 responses to “In which nice castle will we be having Northern Irish pols renegotiating the Agreement in then?

  1. Looks like the Unionist Forum was simply a mechanism for Peader and the DUP to put a harness on the Nesbitt and the UUP while simultaneously undermining a burgeoning anti-establishment, old school Unionist grass-roots movement led by Willie and assorted street toughs (or in the case of wee Jamie, not-so-tough).

    Now that the UUP are dismissing the Agreement does that not put them ideologically closer to the likes of Frazer and company? And with that latter grouping quite openly anti-Irish/Nationalist/Republican/Catholic does Robinson’s crusade against the Irish News not also place him in the same ideological position?

    “Catholic Outreach”, such as it was, is well and truly over. This is communal politics at its most clear cut. There are no ambiguities here. Forget a “shared future” and think Belgium instead. Separate but equal.

    Given the latest revelations can we be that far away from a united DUP-UUP? It will either be a formal uniting of both parties or an electoral pact that will let one eclipse and eventually gobble up the other.

    Either way the Belfast Agreement as we have known it is looking distinctly frail. The only thing keeping it going is the duopoly of power enjoyed by the DUP and SF and the (forlorn?) hope of the latter that they will be able to reverse the balance of control in their favour over the next decade.

    • It’s very interesting times Seamas. I remember Mick
      Fealty was trying to basically say we have problems as we’re not reaching out to unionism and our reasons, probably in his eyes excuses, that they’re a body of pols that are nigh on impossible to bargain with who appear to be dogmatic as opposed to pragmatic I think stands up I think quite neatly.

      In many ways, it benefits nationalism for unionism to be this belligerent and pig headed. You have a sworn enemy circling the wagons and causing havoc,I’m hoping this will refocus minds on what we’re up against and to push for that in a more effective manner.

      I give this whole edifice til 2018 before we have to back to some castle to discuss matters but it could be a whole lot sooner…

    • Howdy factual and thanks for posting.

      I think you are missing my point though, while most of the GFA is here to stay its obvious that what we have at the moment will not be able to stand up for much longer under the weight of its own contradictions. What will we have replace it? What shopping list would you like me to look over? Is there a mechanism that you think would better suit the North or do you think that what we have is as good as it gets and we need more time for the institutions to bed down?

  2. Probably the UUP and SDLP would revive and be happier if there was a bit of money for opposition politics. That could help things.

    • I think that’s rather simplistic factual. Money would help but then again, UUP got tons from Ashcroft when they went for the whole UCUNF route and got nowhere so we must ask, why are people avoiding them like the plague?

      I would also contend that they are already an opposition of sorts. I ask you, anytime a minister brings out some legislation we have 3 other parties on the news telling us why they are against it. Is this not an opposition then?

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