Bad News for Northern Ireland--Hardliners Win Election

BAD NEWS--HARDLINERS LED by IAN PAISLEY WIN N. IRELAND ELECTION

Bad news for Northern Ireland--hardliners led by Ian Paisley win election.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/09/world/europe/09cnd-irish.html?hp


Perhaps IDUNNE or IrishObserver can enlighten us on the significance of the election results.

The Reverend Ian Richard Kyle Paisley

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12 comments

jimmythejock profile image

jimmythejock 9 years ago from Scotland

I will be watching this very closely Ralph and i hope the differing groups can work together, it's a scary situation.....jimmy


Iðunn 9 years ago

It's the expected result. Some people view it as bad news because it means the moderates don't have a say, but what the results say is that there are very few moderates in that divide so it is democratic.

More than that, my opinion, Sinn Fein isn't all that hardline, not like the DUP. I think in it's own way that Sinn Fein ARE the moderates. This is a class line division, which some people seem to miss.

There are 4 major parties in the north, two protestant (politically speaking, not religiously) and two catholic. The two protestant parties are the UUP (representing the upper class protestants) and the DUP (representing the worker class protestants). With the catholics you have the SDLP (white collar catholics) and Sinn Fein (worker class catholics).

If the polls show anything, what they show is a high voter turn out for the poor (which we don't see in the U.S.). Anyway, there is a great deal riding on this and it's a good thing in disguise.

It pushes the Reverand Mr. NO! Paisley into either ceding power over the north in part to Dublin, or forcing him to go ahead and deal with Sinn Fein in government, which is part of the Good Friday Agreement anyway and which he has put off to the bitter end.

The actual struggle for power is about civil, political, economic and religious rights for second-class citizens. Sinn Fein is fighting for equality for catholics in the north, DUP is fighting for continued superiority of protestants over catholics.

If you could picture it as the Civil War in the U.S. where the North is fighting for the right of the U.S. gov to abolish slavery and the South is fighting for the right for the state to maintain it if they wish (and they did!), that's a fair analogy.


Iðunn 9 years ago

here's a couple of summary's. the first is shorter and simpler but the second has a great deal more info.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/07/EDGRJN7ALJ1.DTL&hw=Ireland&sn=003&sc=826

Sinn Fein, policing and Paisley in Northern Ireland

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/ulster/article233... 

The Big Question: Why is Northern Ireland voting, and does the outcome matter?


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 9 years ago Author

Thanks for the comments and links!


Iðunn 9 years ago

you're most welcome.

the new big date now is March 26. By this date, Paisley is supposed to decide between London/Dublin shared rule or sharing political power with Catholics.

Here's where it gets complicated. If Paisley goes for devolution (shares power) a lot of his "supporters" will get angry and quit voting for him, and the paramilitary groups Paisley is semi-associated with will start attacking random Catholics again and burning down Catholic houses, vandalizing churches, yada... all the same old stuff that caused the British to send their troops in for to begin with at the start of this 30 yr mess (although within months the Brits were aiding the Protestants in attacking Catholics).

Even if he says his customary "No!", this may still happen. It will be the start of a United Ireland because Dublin will have shared power over the North with London and additionally Paisley will lose his extensive salary (as will all the other newly elected) and none of them will have any say over the politics of their own area.

In the meantime, waiting in the wings are fringe groups of militant republicans. Adams assured these people their voices could be heard in the ballot box rather than by war. A lot of them aren't at all sure and a failure to have agreement by the 26th from Paisley would increase the numbers of Republicans drifting off to the fringe that still believes that a United Ireland can only be achieved by military victory.

In other words, all hell could break loose. However, I don't see it happening.

If I had to guess, I'd say Paisley will bobble back and forth and not decide and Blair and Ahern will put off the 26th deadline (to avoid all that above). Historically, this is what always happens. And regardless of that, I think at this point the Brits through Blair are now backing trying to get out of the financial black hole that is "northern ireland" so what I think they will do is start actually arresting and prosecuting loyalist terrorists this time. I don't think the PSNI or the UDA or any of the smaller groups are going to have the free rein they enjoyed in the 70s anymore.

And of course, by the time we find out what will happen, we will be drifting into "parade season" again.


Iðunn 9 years ago

a couple of headlines from today:

Summary - http://politics.guardian.co.uk/northernirelandasse...

"The key question is whether the DUP leader will do it while Blair remains as Prime Minister. Paul Bew, Professor of Politics at Queen's University and one-time adviser to former First Minister David Trimble, believes the deal will be done on Blair's watch: 'While I don't think they will make it by 26 March, the indications I am getting suggest there is now groundswell in the DUP towards doing the deal by the summer. Blair could still exit the stage with at least one prize under his arm - Northern Ireland.'"

Weird and unrelated, but fascinating:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/292614,CST...

"Monahan, by the way, got off another good one-liner about the Irish in "The Departed."

Damon's character tells his psychoanalyst girlfriend that if their relationship is to end, she has to be the one to break it off because, being Irish, he never will. "I'm not capable," he says. "I'm - - - - - - - Irish. I'll deal with something being wrong for the rest of my life."

Now is that a fair generalization to tar our whole people?

"You could find evidence to support this," admitted Dr. Brendan Kelly, a professor of psychiatry at University College Dublin. "We have an unrivaled history of failed revolutions, which are now interpreted as covert victories of one sort or another. This legacy is very evident with our soccer team. At the World Cup a few years ago, we got to compete with Brazil. We always regard a draw as a victory. This comes from generations of putting the best possible spin on generations of defeats."

Both lines from the movie brought me back to Cassidy's Roost in Maynooth, Ireland, where my classmates and I spent too many nights during college, pints in hand, smoke in the air, engaged in animated conversations about the weather, sports, politics and who fancied whom. But substantive questions that broke below the surface, such as, "How can you be shifting [flirting with] all these women when you're studying for the priesthood?" would be met with a swift change of subject.

A people who can hide their true feelings would make great paramilitary plants for the Irish Republican Army, or excellent infiltrators of law enforcement or the Irish mob in Boston, which is why Freud's thesis about the Irish -- whether he said it or not -- is so apt for "The Departed."

"The Irish caricature is one in which they can be outgoing, but when it comes to serious emotions that aren't a ballad or a joke or a story, they tried to deflect attention to themselves out of fear of being ashamed of what would be seen," said Dr. Paul Lynch, a Boston psychoanalyst on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. "It clearly is a part of the culture, the shame and embarrassment about sexuality, the role of the church and being dominated by the English for so long."


Iðunn 9 years ago

Paisley is hinting around that's he's going to go for devolution - latest:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/13032007/325/paisley-says...

"BELFAST (Reuters) - Protestant leader Ian Paisley said on Tuesday a strong election showing had "strengthened his hand" in moving towards sharing power with Catholic foes in Northern Ireland.

"I can afford now to go a bit farther in things because I am confident the people are with me," said Paisley, a firebrand preacher who is key to any power-sharing deal, after meeting the Northern Ireland minister..."


Iðunn 9 years ago

"If I had to guess, I'd say Paisley will bobble back and forth and not decide and Blair and Ahern will put off the 26th deadline (to avoid all that above).  Historically, this is what always happens."  (me, above)

ahem... am I good or what?  :p

Britain may extend N. Ireland deadline

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070325/ap_on_re_eu/no... 

regarding the expected violence, the British govt is trying to buy off UDA attacks on random Catholics with £1m:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_irelan...


Iðunn 9 years ago


Iðunn 6 years ago

Hey Ralph! Weirdly this news from the 9th of this month is a direct and predicted result of the news story you put up three years ago:

Belfast votes in favor of police, justice transfer

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100309/wl_nm/us_irish...

"BELFAST (Reuters) – The Northern Ireland Assembly on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to take control of its own police and justice powers, cementing the latest hard-won agreement between the province's divided communities.

The issue had risked scuppering Northern Ireland's power-sharing government, delicately balanced between republicans and loyalists, in a peace process aimed at ending decades of political violence.

The vote -- 88 in favor, 17 against -- paves the way for Northern Ireland to have its first justice minister by April 12..."


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago Author

Thanks for the update. I'd completely forgotten aobut this Hub.


Iðunn 6 years ago

I don't keep up with Irish news like I used to, but this made front page yahoo so I noticed it. It's good news.

I still get a kick out of that Paisley pol cartoon. :D

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