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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Omens

Unionist Revisionist and political journalist Dr John Coulter controversially warns there are bad omens ahead for any Stormont administration which faces a crucial deadline in a year ending with the number six

Dr John Coulter • 29 May 2006

The ancient omens look grim for any political progress in a year ending with the number six, and if the present Stormont Assembly collapses in November it will be the third such curse to come true.

In 1976, the Constitutional Convention was scrapped because it could not agree on a power-sharing arrangement. The same fate befell the former Assembly in 1986 – so is the Northern Executive jinxed in 2006?

Combine the figures and we get the Biblical warning of the number of the Anti-Christ 6-6-6. Surely, Ian Paisley's fundamentalists are going to heed this alarm bell from the Good Book and do the Christian thing by forming a power-sharing Executive with the Shinners?

If they don't do the deal, it will prove once and for all that the DUP does not put the interests of its people first, but is dominated by the need to feed its own political greed.

In both '76 and '86, Paisleyism could have formed a power-sharing Executive with the then leading voice in nationalism, the moderate SDLP.

Because of this lack of vision, Paisleyism if it wants Stormont back, must climb into bed with SF, the apologist for the Provos' three decades of slaughter and mayhem in the North.

The first fortnight of the MLAs' return to Stormont Hill has demonstrated the body language of doom and gloom. We've witnessed a rampant Paisley, but his very muted deputy Peter Robinson.

The chit-chat in the corridors and tea rooms of Parliament Buildings is that Paisley's ultra negative rhetoric is neither sabre-rattling nor drum-beating to wring more concessions out of a clearly frustrated Northern Secretary Peter Hain before the 24 November meltdown.

Optimists, who are sadly lacking in Assembly circles at the moment, are trying to talk up the present situation by pushing the spin there's still six months to negotiate the deal.

They almost seem to be living in cloud cuckoo land that at 11.55 pm on Thursday 23 November, Paisley and Gerry Adams will come rushing through the revolving front doors at Stormont, waving a piece of paper and yelling – peace in our time!

Who needs the controversy of the Da Vinci Code? We've got our own high wire Da Paisley Code. How do we unlock the secret that will prompt the 80-year-old leader of the North's biggest unionist party to leave his safe prayer room in Never, Never, Never Land and enter the Promised Land of political progress in the Executive with those Philistine Shinners?

But the real question is, does Big Paisley truly have the heart to save Stormont? Perhaps his Holy Grail is not the restoration of a devolved government as we have been led to believe all these years since Stormont was first scrapped in March '72.

It's becoming clear from the past two weeks, the real motive is the total and utter destruction of the Ulster Unionist Party. The party is now cash-strapped and some would allege its on the verge of bankruptcy both financially and politically.

It's claimed the income from the UUP's 24-strong Stormont team is what's keeping Ulster Unionism afloat. In brutal Paisleyism terms, the DUP is one step away from its ultimate goal – sink the Assembly, and the UUP finally goes under.

Without an Assembly group, that leaves the party which ruled the North for more than 80 years with one MP and a handful of councillors. UUP boss Reg Empey could find himself sharing the unenviable award previously won by the likes of Brian Faulkner, Bill Craig, and Anne Dickson – leader of a defunct unionist party.

Not content with swallowing the bitter medicine of having their party humiliated into second spot by the DUP, Ulster Unionists must now ponder the unthinkable – within 12 months their party could be joining others such as the United Unionist Assembly Party, Northern Ireland Unionist Party, Vanguard, UPNI, and the UDP in the dustbin of history.

But what about those DUP MLAs who need their Stormont dosh to pay family bills? Surely the Big Man would not sacrifice them in his life-long quest to wreck the UUP?

Nay, I saith unto you, they will have their rewards in the new political heaven. Such MLAs will be given safe DUP seats in the new seven super councils coming into reality, probably by 2009.

Ironically, two top DUP men can save both the UUP and the Executive – Robinson and tough-talking MEP Jim Allister.

It is imperative that Blair, Ahern, Brown, Hain and even George Dubya flex all their combined muscles to ensure Robinson takes the helm of the DUP away from Paisley.

Robinson needs a bucketful of political concessions and guarantees from London, Dublin and Washington that if he sparks a leadership coup a combined DUP/UUP alliance will have the clout to isolate Paisley's fundamentalists.

The price of a DUP presence in the Executive will be to split the party. Allister is the natural champion of Unionism's post deal New Right.

A cunning plan must be hatched to actively encourage Allister's supporters to form a new ultra Right wing party like the Seventies Vanguard, thus weakening the fundamentalists' ability to scupper the United Unionist pact.

There will always be a sizeable section of unionist opinion who will never share power with anyone, not even their own fellow unionists.

Emperor Hain the Horrible, you too have your agenda – now get cracking. The North wants checkmate on Paisley's fundamentalists before 24 November.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Index: Current Articles



6 June 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

We Believe Freddie McGuinness
Anthony McIntyre

Under Scrutiny
John Kennedy

Unionism's New Puppetmasters
Robert Matthews

Omens
Dr John Coulter

Two Peace Processes
Mick Hall

'The Beginning of the End has Past …'
Davy Carlin

How Many Grannies?
Dr John Coulter

Even the Dogs Bark in Irish?
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Bards for St Brigid's
Paul Dougherty

USA v Iran
John Kennedy

Threat to Iran Based on Duplicity
David Adams

Manifesto of the Third Camp against US Militarism and Islamic Terrorism

Profile: Bernard Henry-Levy
Anthony McIntyre

BHL: Bernard Henri-Levy
Liam O Ruairc

Freedom of Speech index


28 May 2006

Humpty Dumpty
Anthony McIntyre

1981
Eamon Sweeney

Political Status
Geoffrey Cooling

Enough, Enough of Stormont
David Adams

Joined at the Hip
John Kennedy

Loyal to What
Fred A Wilcox

No Rest In Peace
John Kennedy

'Penetrated' Has Become the Sinn Fein Brand Mark
Anthony McIntyre

Code Red
Dr John Coulter

Review of the Field Day Review 1: Debut Issue, 2005
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Profile: Salman Rushdie
Anthony McIntyre

Freedom of Speech index

 

 

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