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Thread: 2017 NI Assembly Election

  1. #61
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    TheJournal.ie debunks Arlene's claim that "there are more people in Northern Ireland that speak Polish, than speak Irish": http://www.thejournal.ie/arlene-fost...28915-Feb2017/

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJournal.ie
    The Facts

    We asked the DUP for evidence to support that claim, and they directed our attention to a particular section of the 2011 Northern Ireland Census (pg 17).


    Source: NISRA

    This shows that in 2011, the main language of 1.02% of Northern Ireland residents (17,731) over the age of three was Polish. For 0.24% (4,130) it was Irish.

    However, this is not the full picture.

    We dug a bit deeper into the 2011 Census, and found the following:

    • 10.7% of the population aged over 3 (184,898) had some level of knowledge of the Irish language, however minimal
    • 6% of the population aged over 3 (104,943) spoke (or could speak) Irish

    (You can examine all this data for yourself by downloading a spreadsheet below).

    So while relatively few residents of Northern Ireland had Irish as their main language, many more than that had some aptitude with the language, and around 6% did or could speak it.

    How does that compare with Polish? Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure, because the Census does not have similarly detailed figures for Polish speakers, as it does for gaeilgeoirí.

    But we do know this:

    • In 2011, some 17,739 Northern Ireland residents had Polish passports
    • 19,747 identified as “Polish” or had a related multinational identity (such as “Irish and Polish” or “British and Polish”)
    • 19,658 Northern Ireland residents were born in Poland
    • 17,731 listed Polish as their “main language”
    • Of those who identified as Polish (whether exclusively or in combination with another national identity), only 4.4% said their main language was not Polish.

    The Census has detailed (and fascinating) data on the levels of skill and knowledge in the Irish language – whether reading, writing, speaking, or understanding.

    But it does not have similar data for the Polish language, so we can’t say for sure how many Northern Ireland residents, in 2011, could speak or read or understand Polish, in addition to those who listed it as their main language.

    And unfortunately, there has been no separate research into this that we could use as evidence.

    However, we know that it is highly unlikely – implausible, even – that that number would even approach the equivalent figure for Irish, which 184,898 had some knowledge of, and 104,943 could speak.

    Some 19,747 people identified solely, or in part, as Polish in Northern Ireland in 2011 – a greater number than had Polish passports or were born in Poland.

    The number of Polish speakers would therefore have to be more than five times the number that identified as Polish, to match the number of Irish speakers.

    While we don’t have the figures to confirm it, FactCheck is willing to rule that out as a plausible scenario. Some of the reasons for that are explored in the next section. [View this section in link as I have not quoted it.]

    ...

    Conclusion

    Northern Ireland Assembly election 2017 campaign DUP leader Arlene Foster at the party's Assembly election campaign launch on Monday.

    Remember that the number of Northern Ireland residents in 2011 who described themselves as being able to speak Irish was 104,943.

    Even if we allow for a generous estimate of 30,000-35,000 people of Polish identity currently living in Northern Ireland, it is simply implausible that the number of people with the ability to speak some Polish would even approach 104,943.

    “There’s absolutely no way that that would be the case,” says Honorary Consul Jerome Mullen.

    Despite the absence of clear, official data on the number of people in Northern Ireland with the ability to speak Polish, we do have a significant other data from which we can draw a conclusion.

    Arlene Foster’s claim was “There are more people in Northern Ireland that speak Polish, than speak Irish”.

    While it is true, based on the 2011 Census, to say there are more people who regard Polish as their main language, this is not the same thing as people who can speak Polish or Irish.

    And based on the data available to us, FactCheck is willing to rule out as implausible the possibility that the number of Polish speakers is greater than the number of Irish speakers.

    We rate Arlene Foster’s claim Mostly FALSE. As our Verdicts Guide explains, this means: “There is an element of truth in the claim, but it is missing critical details or context. Or, the best available evidence weighs against the claim”.

    To download a spreadsheet containing all the data relevant to this article, click here.

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  3. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Michelle cheerfully insists there's no return to Stormont unless Arlene goes (at least temporarily during the Inquiry), but waffled when gently pressed about how much a Language Act would cost. Poor preparation, looks amateurish.
    O'Neill should definitely have been better prepared for the inevitable questions relating to the Irish Language Act. She was always going to be questioned on the matter given the ongoing dispute and controversy over claims relating to its potential cost. In fairness, she did assert that the language act for Scots-Gaelic in Scotland would be an appropriate barometer, which would suggest that DUP guesstimates for the cost of an similar Irish act in the north are wildly exaggerated, but she didn't have the exact figure of its cost either when pressed by Carruthers (besides knowing it was much less than the lofty figures the DUP were throwing into the public domain). Rather than waffling, she'd have been better to admit that she didn't have the exact figure on her at that moment and should have stated that Sinn Féin would happily publish a more realistic figure for all to see within the following hours/days/weeks in order to clarify or after some further research to ascertain exactly what the corresponding Scottish figure was.

    Still, overall, I thought she came across well and has a much cheerier persona than the abrasive, hyper-defensive and off-putting Arlene, who exhibits an old-school style of a dinosaur politics. People will warm to O'Neill. Arlene's style has had its day; it's pre-GFA era "not an inch" unionism. O'Neill also showed willingness for self-reflection and self-criticism when she accepted that Michelle Gildernew's talk of "putting manners" on Arlene wasn't the right sort of language for Sinn Féin party members to be using in relation to political counterparts and that she had had a word with Gildernew to make her aware of her disapproval. That showed moral courage as it is something sorely lacking from northern politics, so it is to be welcomed.

    As for being Adams' "lapdog" (which is essentially what Foster said O'Neill amounted to, yet Foster had the nerve to pull the disingenuous "misogyny" card in order to get herself off the hook and undermine her critics when the RHI scandal blew up), O'Neill correctly pointed out that Adams is the general party president and that her leadership was further approved by the party's ard chomhairle.

  4. #63
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    Irish Times
    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Times View Post
    DUP losing its grip on Ballymena ahead of North’s election
    Cash-for-ash scandal and the party’s attitude has created anti-DUP feeling in Antrim town

    If the Northern Irish bible belt had a buckle, it would be Ballymena.
    Church spires denoting a variety of denominations punctate the Co Antrim market town’s squat skyline. For decades, one man stood at the apex of Ballymena’s religious life: Ian Paisley.
    As with the pulpit, the Big Man’s Democratic Unionist Party is still a powerful force in Ballymena. The DUP’s three local members of the Stormont Assembly smile down from placards on lampposts across the town.
    But there are signs that the DUP’s grip on this corner of Antrim is loosening.
    “I know Ian Paisley [jnr, the local MP]. I knew his father, but the DUP isn’t the party it used to be,” says hotelier Martin Boon.
    Like many in Ballymena, Mr Boon describes himself as a traditional DUP voter. But he won’t be backing the party when Northern Ireland goes back to the polls on March 2nd. “You can’t trust them anymore,” he says.
    The DUP’s reputation for financial – and moral – rectitude was forged in places like Ballymena. The botched renewable heating incentive (RHI) scheme, in particular, has badly damaged that image, at least for some.
    “People are disillusioned. It just seems to be scandal after scandal,” says David Ross, who works in the community and voluntary sector. Having voted DUP in the past, this time around he is going with the more hard-line Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV), led by one-time DUP MEP Jim Allister.

    “There is growing support for the likes of Jim Allister. There is an integrity there that at one time the DUP was based on, but now people are starting to question that,” says Mr Ross.
    With its independent boutiques and colourful craft shops, Ballymena retains a stolidly prosperous air. But locals complain that the once bustling streets have grown quiet, that their party has not done enough to reinvigorate its heartland amid a series of factory closures.

    Based on last May’s results, the party should have little difficulty retaining the three seats it first won here in 1998, even allowing for a reduction in constituency size (from six to five seats) across Northern Ireland.
    But there is a notable spring in the step of the DUP’s unionist rivals.
    Traditional Unionist Voice is again running two candidates. “We are feeling very confident, especially in these last two weeks,” says Mr Allister’s running mate, 28-year-old councillor Timothy Gaston.
    “There is definitely an appetite. A lot of people here were brought up to vote DUP. Now they are starting to look at what the DUP stand for and ask questions.”
    On paper, Mr Gaston should have been a natural DUP candidate. A practising Free Presbyterian, he is the son of a former DUP councillor. During election campaigns pater familias used to drive Paisley through Ballymena on his milk float. “There is a long Paisley history in my family,” says Gaston with a smile.
    The Gaston family’s commitment to Paisley – and the DUP – ended in 2007, following the St Andrew’s Agreement with Sinn Féin.

    “I listened to Paisley preaching for years about how wrong it was to share power with terrorists. When Paisley went against what he had been preaching for 40 years, then I became interested in politics,” says Mr Gaston.
    There is a palpable sympathy for the TUV’s particularly conservative brand of politics in Ballymena – which voted for Brexit – but translating that into two seats would be a major surprise. The DUP remain the best organised party in Northern Ireland, as the poll-topping performance last May, when Arlene Foster’s party took 38 seats, attested.
    On a bitterly cold weekday afternoon, DUP MLA Paul Frew is canvassing support in Ballee, a working-class Protestant estate on the edge of Ballymena. He is a young-looking 42, with an evident zeal for electioneering. “I always knock doors, election or no election,” Mr Frew says.
    Most of the pebble-dashed terrace houses are empty, but those that are not receive Mr Frew with a polite smile. His message is a heady mix of Orange vs Green politics – “vote DUP to keep Sinn Féin out” – and old-fashioned constituency graft.
    “See those trees?” Mr Frew points at a spattering of bare trunks clustered on a low hill overlooking the estate. “We got them topped last week. They were overgrown and causing problems on the path.” Nearby, three football fields have been drained, and a large two-storey, cream-coloured community centre opened last year.
    Mr Frew, who joined the DUP in his early 20s when he was a member of a local Orange lodge, dismisses the current election as “a manufactured crisis”.
    He admits that “mistakes” were made in the RHI scheme – there 276 RHI boilers around Ballymena and Ballymoney, one of the highest levels in Northern Ireland – but is adamant that “there is no massive scandal”.
    “Yes, we probably will take a hit. Two or three per cent, I don’t know. But the question is: ‘who benefits?’ Or will people just stay at home.”
    Among those hoping to benefit are the Ulster Unionists.
    Robin Swann took the last seat in May with less than a quota. The soft-spoken, diminutive man will need to attract wavering Democratic Unionist voters to have a realistic chance of holding on.
    Totally different
    “This is DUP heartland. But this election is totally different, people want to talk. They are angry,” says Mr Swann. “People understand RHI. RHI is £85,000 a day. That’s seven hip operations a day.”
    The scale of the RHI overspend is not just a matter of probity. Many feel it is money that towns like Ballymena – who often complain of being overlooked in favour of Belfast – could use locally.

    Long a centre for Northern Irish manufacturing, Ballymena has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years. Michelin tyres is set to close in 2018 with the loss of 860 jobs. Production at the JTI Gallaher cigarette factory will cease by May. A brownfield site decorated with red poppies near the town centre has lain empty since the Ballymena Construction Company shut.
    Keith Turner has seen a marked decline in his trout fishing business. “These days its considered a luxury item, it didn’t use to be like that,” says Mr Turner, a jovial, broad-shouldered English man whose first taste of Northern Ireland was as a part of the Royal Irish Regiment in south Armagh in the early 1990s.
    “I saw that David Trimble and John Hume were trying to bring peace to a country that I didn’t understand but I knew needed peace.” Mr Turner joined the Ulster Unionists after moving to Ballymena. “I wanted to support a party that brought the peace.”
    Ballymena largely escaped the worst of the Troubles but gained a reputation for often vicious sectarianism. The Catholic church at Harryville was the scene of repeated loyalist protests before eventually being razed to the ground.
    The murder of 15-year-old Catholic Michael McIlveen – beaten with a baseball bat by a gang in 2006 – has been back in the news after two of the men found guilty of the killing launched appeals against their convictions.
    Around the town centre, union flags flutter below signs carrying the TUV’s Donald Trump-inspired campaign slogan “Drain the Swamp”.

    A mural of King Billy atop a white horse looks down from a gable end. There is, however, a significant Catholic minority, particularly around Dunclug where Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan draws much of his support.
    Originally elected to Stormont for North Antrim in 2003, Mr McGuigan returned to the Assembly last August after Daithí McKay’s resignation over his links with loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson. Mr McGuigan’s co-option was not universally popular – a raft of Sinn Féin activists left the party in protest – but he is expected to hold his seat despite a challenge from former SF councillor Monica Digney.
    “I haven’t seen people as motivated to come out to vote in 10, 15 years,” says Mr McGuigan, who lives in nearby Dunloy. “The RHI scandal and the attitude of the DUP has really motivated people. This is a landmark election.”
    The bespectacled 42-year-old holds out little hope for a swift return to power-sharing at Stormont: “We have no intention of going back unless there is an attitude change in the DUP, unless there is a real partnership based on equality and respect.”
    Unionism and nationalism’s failure to find accommodation in the Assembly mirrors affairs in Ballymena’s glass-fronted, DUP-dominated council offices, according to local SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan.
    “The DUP attitude here is ‘we rule and we give nothing’,” says Mr O’Loan, adducing £60,000 (€70,000) spent on a Somme commemoration at the same time as funding was denied for an Easter Rising study trip to Dublin.
    “The whole mood of the council is very much ‘this is a unionist stronghold, we take everything in front of us’,” says Mr O’Loan. “When it comes to symbolic issues, it is all one-sided, it is all all about the military, about flying the flag.”
    Northern Ireland’s bible belt retains a distinctive, out of time feel.
    Preachers occasionally hold fort from the bandstand in the centre of Ballymena. “Abortion Is Murder” declares a sign in the window of a charity shop. Proprietor Leonard McAuley grew up a republican, but switched to the DUP because of the party’s pro-life stance.

    “But I’m not sure this time,” says Mr McAuley. “I don’t know what is going on with the renewable heating business, but they are covering their backs, they are not being completely honest.”
    The DUP is hoping to galvanise core voters with dire warnings of the dangers of Sinn Féin, but even in Ballymena there are signs that, almost 20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement, some people want more from their political leaders.
    “I want to hear ‘we are working together’. I want to hear ‘we are working inclusively’,” says former DUP voter Martin Boon. “I don’t want it to just be the rich are getting richer.”

  5. #64
    Seasoned Pro CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    Here is the link - http://www.irishtimes.com/news/polit...tion-1.2972631 - for the piece I posted above, it didn't seem possible within one post.

    Can Sinn Fein be right here ? As to my eyes this is the shot they are playing, that the DUP vote can be splintered to a worthwhile extent for them. If they are correct and the above piece is accurate and replicates across presently DUP held zones, then they will have spotted something remarkable long before the DUP did.

    I don't think it had to be taken to the cliff edge over RHI. And the language grant, while being a colossally ignorant moment of regression in the DUPs very gradual journey into this century, would still be water off a ducks back considering the levels of discrimination endured to get things to this stage in NI.

    Foster is reduced presently to ranting about the consequences for 'their' way of life if these pesky Catholics get to the levers of power, while SF calmly campaigns on equality for all. You have played a very poor hand when the recently retired gunmen have got you in a snooker like this

  6. #65
    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    First televised debate just kicking off on UTV in case any of you over the border want to have a look at how Nordie monkeys throw **** at each other in a cage.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

  7. #66
    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    My review of tonights debate. I zoned out about half way through tbh.

    Arlene Foster: Permanent scowl. You would think someone who had been in politics since she was in school would be happy about leading her country/province/occupied statelet. Looked like a bulldog that had licked a ****y nettle throughout. -8/10

    Mike Nesbitt: He's comfortable in the role now and his knowledge of the media game shows. Took a bit of damage on Brexit though. Daft glasses that were designed for a much younger man but still a solid 7/10

    Naomi Long: Naomi is now morbidly obese. Most people could stand to drop a few lbs but FFS. Middle of the road performance from a middle of the road leader of a middle of the road party. 6/10 Lest anyone think it sexist to criticise her appearance that leads me on to...

    Colm Eastwood: Colm has grown a beard to avoid looking like he's there on work experience. He did really well, but he was pushed all the way by the white spot on his chin. Strongest performance of the night tbf. 8/10

    The white spot on Colm's chin: Not much to say, but managed to distract attention any time Colm had a salient point to make. Succeeded in recognising Colm was the strongest competitor, and dragged itself up to his level by making him look silly on several occasions. Colm pipped it, but it was close. 7/10

    Michelle O'Neill: Michelle was presumably nervous. This was her first experience of this sort of event and it showed. Didn't even have as much to say as Colm's Spot. Still did better than Arlene mind. 6/10
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

  8. #67
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    I haven't had a chance to see the debate yet myself - I'll try get a chance tomorrow or over the weekend - but it can be viewed again online here for anyone interested: http://www.itv.com/news/utv/story/20...ection-debate/

    Foster was interviewed on 'The View' tonight as well and performed abysmally: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...-view-16022017

    Mark Carruthers is a shrewd inquisitor and Newton Emerson/Deirdre Heenan duly tore Foster to shreds in their analyses.

  9. #68
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    I only realised it was on when it was over! Would have loved to see how Arlene squirmed. She's truly horrid.

    Will view it back over the weekend.
    DID YOU NOTICE A SIGN OUTSIDE MY HOUSE...?

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    Michelle O'Neill: Michelle was presumably nervous. This was her first experience of this sort of event and it showed. Didn't even have as much to say as Colm's Spot. Still did better than Arlene mind. 6/10
    Michelle is a rapid-fire speaker, which I think can possibly contribute to giving an impression that she's nervous. I've noticed that she often reads pre-prepared statements/speeches now that she's Sinn Féin's leader in Stormont; presumably it helps with slowing the delivery.

    Arlene warned of UUP-to-SDLP vote transfers potentially leading to a Sinn Féin-driven unity referendum, which is dubious reasoning as it is. A unity referendum in the short-term isn't SDLP-policy. In fact, I'm not even sure it's genuinely Sinn Féin's either behind all the post-Brexit "border poll" rhetoric; it's a long-term strategy of the party that they know will require much more work than convincing a simple majority of the northern electorate to vote in favour. Either Foster is disingenuously scaremongering for votes or is genuinely terrified by the prospect of such a referendum. What is there for her to fear if the union with Britain is as secure as she asserts it to be? Hmm...

  11. #70
    First Team Gather round's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DI
    TheJournal.ie debunks Arlene's claim that "there are more people in Northern Ireland that speak Polish, than speak Irish"
    Less a debunking, more dancing on the head of a pin. The Journal didn't/ couldn't answer two basic criticisms: barely anyone speaks Irish (ie to the extent of daily conversation), but many who don't (ie can't be bothered) choose to use it as a form of p*ssing out their territory. That Michelle has no idea how much it would cost and Arlene can't remember during interviews just adds to the fun...

    People will warm to O'Neill
    People already have, she's been acclaimed by the SF Nurnberg Rally without anything as boring as open election by party members. We'll see shortly how much credit she gets for sounding cheerful, answering questions directly, or publically criticising off-message colleagues. And whether it's outweighed by discredit for not reading or writing the brief,or hanging out at Provo commemorations.

    Mark Carruthers is a shrewd inquisitor and Newton Emerson/Deirdre Heenan duly tore Foster to shreds in their analyses
    Don't entirely agree. Carruthers interrupts far too much- he's there to ask questions, not answer them. Emerson (while good on the economics) overdid the faux outrage. They'd have been better gently pressing her further on RHI, rather than spluttering pointlessly about who went to which game at the Euros. But yes, it wasn't a great performance by Foster.

    Arlene warned of UUP-to-SDLP vote transfers potentially leading to a Sinn Féin-driven unity referendum, which is dubious reasoning as it is...Either Foster is disingenuously scaremongering for votes or is genuinely terrified by the prospect of such a referendum
    It's the former. It should persuade some wavering voters. Therefore it's quite logical reasoning

    Quote Originally Posted by CTP
    Can Sinn Fein be right here ? As to my eyes this is the shot they are playing, that the DUP vote can be splintered to a worthwhile extent for them. If they are correct and the above piece is accurate and replicates across presently DUP held zones, then they will have spotted something remarkable long before the DUP did
    Last year, DUP beat TUV by 25% (43-18) in North Antrim (by far the latter's best performance). Across NI, Foster's party was NINE times more popular than Allister's. His name wasn't enough to get his mates elected. Opinion polls so far suggest little real change to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by BttW
    You would think someone who had been in politics since she was in school would be happy
    Is “in politics” there a euphemism? Her involvement while still at school was hardly voluntary?
    Last edited by Gather round; 18/02/2017 at 5:25 AM.

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    This really doesn't make much sense IMO.

    It just reads as even more pompous waffle in the main.

  13. #72
    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Less a debunking, more dancing on the head of a pin. The Journal didn't/ couldn't answer two basic criticisms: barely anyone speaks Irish (ie to the extent of daily conversation), but many who don't (ie can't be bothered) choose to use it as a form of p*ssing out their territory. That Michelle has no idea how much it would cost and Arlene can't remember during interviews just adds to the fun...
    Just thinking; how would one know the exact cost without knowing the form it might take? The form is something which yet needs to be debated and ironed out.

    Fáinne óir-level Gaeilgeoirí (like my mother, for example, and thousands of others similar to her), fáinne airgid-level Gaeilgeoirí and less competent speakers (like myself, who have bit of Irish but who'd like to improve our overall comprehension and usage), as well as those with an interest in or cultural affiliation with the language (a very significant portion - up to a third, if not more - of the population of the north), along with as those who don't necessarily have a direct attachment to the language but see the cultural worth in its protection/promotion (for example, many of those in Alliance and the Green Party, considering an Irish language act is also party policy for them, as far as I know), will be contributing to the cost of the act through their paid taxes. We all want it - hundreds of thousands of us - and are happy to contribute to its potential cost.

    Regardless, a firm and written commitment was made, so there is an imperative duty upon the British government and those who'll be in power in the north to work towards making it a practical and affordable reality, however that may be.

    The purpose will be to help a language native to Ireland flourish - maybe the north can become a truly bilingual region in the future even - and to allow those for whom it is a first language the right to use it when dealing with public institutions.

    Out of interest, for what reason do you think Linda Ervine speaks Irish?

    They'd have been better gently pressing her further on RHI, rather than spluttering pointlessly about who went to which game at the Euros.
    I think that particular example was simply indicative of just how inconsistent she is/was. She saw McGuinness and the British monarch shaking hands as being a significant and worthwhile gesture, but couldn't apply the same logic to the idea of her attending a game at the Euros featuring the team supported by up to half the native population of the bi-communal jurisdiction of which she was first minister. Instead, she shunned the notion of attending an Ireland game - the team of the north's nationalist community - because she "believes in Northern Ireland", as if, inexplicably, going to an Ireland game would have negated or contradicted her support for NI in some way... More dubious logic.

    She was all over the place on so much and looked tired and dejected. Usually she's up for the fight, but she's clearly lacking the confidence of her party/base and you can see that that translates into a lack of self-belief and confidence in the stability of her own position.

    It's the former. It should persuade some wavering voters. Therefore it's quite logical reasoning
    Touché.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Foster's interview on 'The View' (plus analysis) for those who can't view BBC iPlayer:


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    Were she an NI center half she'd have been twisted one way, then another before being nutmegged and landing on her arse trying to turn.

    If people get the politicians they deserve, then her people deserve everything they get if / when they return her. There isn't a scrap or a syllable of credibility to that, never mind a path of leadership or a vision of what is best for her people, just circle the wagons tighter and tighter, round and round the plughole getting closer to the plughole every orbit. Futureless mindset. Good luck to her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible
    Just thinking; how would one know the exact cost without knowing the form it might take? The form is something which yet needs to be debated and ironed out
    Foster wants a row and Brokenshire to avoid the issue, but what's to stop interested parties discussing with each other then costing some proposals?

    The purpose will be to help a language native to Ireland flourish - maybe the north can become a truly bilingual region in the future even - and to allow those for whom it is a first language the right to use it when dealing with public institutions
    Truly bilingual? You aren't serious- the South has never been that despite nearly a century with Irish as the supposedly main language. As for public institutions, how do you see it working in the Courts, for example?

    Out of interest, for what reason do you think Linda Ervine speaks Irish?
    I can't remember, although wasn't there a TV doc with her recently? Alas I missed it.

    I think that particular [Euros] example was simply indicative of just how inconsistent she is/was...She was all over the place on so much and looked tired and dejected. Usually she's up for the fight, but she's clearly lacking the confidence of her party/base and you can see that that translates into a lack of self-belief and confidence in the stability of her own position
    Fair points, although her going to watch both teams in France would still have been an empty stunt. With little or no credit either from the DUP base, or from broad Nationalism.

    Like many on here (I assume), I too think she's more than likely to go in March or soon after. Some combination of a fallen DUP vote share, weariness as you suggest and possibly whatever the RHI Inquiry unearths. But there's no guarantee. What will you do if she survives?


    Quote Originally Posted by CraftyToePoke View Post
    Were she an NI center half she'd have been twisted one way, then another before being nutmegged and landing on her arse trying to turn
    Here's a recent NI center-half who has expressed an interest in possibly running for public office:



    I'll resist the temptation to imagine RoI center-halfs Michelle and Colm running into each other as er, Longue, Greenman, and PBPayet amble through unchallenged to score

    There isn't a scrap or a syllable of credibility to that
    As per reply to DI above, there are actually one or two. 50% of the turnout will probably still vote Unionist, her party will still well outnumber Nesbitt and Allister, if they remain ahead of SF and the vote share holds up she might survive. Her base may not care about any of the issues she stumbled over.

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    It's centre-half...



    And that's just an odd analogy.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Is “in politics” there a euphemism? Her involvement while still at school was hardly voluntary?
    No. It's a reference to Arlene Kelly appearing on Newsnight in her school uniform with Madonna Murphy, joining the QUB Unionist Association, and then leading the Ulster Young Unionist Council.

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    On er, mature reflection, I've downgraded Foster's performance in that interview from D to D-

    Quote Originally Posted by backstothewall View Post
    No. It's a reference to Arlene Kelly appearing on Newsnight in her school uniform with Madonna Murphy, joining the QUB Unionist Association, and then leading the Ulster Young Unionist Council
    Doing a couple of TV interviews after you and your schoolfriends have narrowly escaped being murdered isn't quite the same as joining a political party.

    I didn't manage the latter until enrolling as a student at TCD, although I'd done my first live TV aged 11 (Songs of Praise). They gave us all a Gideon Bible as a momento.
    Last edited by Gather round; 19/02/2017 at 11:47 AM.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Doing a couple of TV interviews after you and your schoolfriends have narrowly escaped being murdered isn't quite the same as joining a political party.
    Which is why i didn't say she had been a member of a political party. I've edited the post to say 'university' instead of 'school'. Does that salve your pedantry?

    I'd have thought the fact that the white spot on Colm Eastwoods chin had a rating of it's own would have been a big clue that the post was tongue is cheek tbh.

    Edit: Apparently i won't edit the post. I haven't got an edit button but consider the remark withdrawn and replaced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    I didn't manage the latter until enrolling as a student at TCD, although I'd done my first live TV aged 11 (Songs of Praise). They gave us all a Gideon Bible as a momento.
    My first telly work was an interview was an interview with a young Jim Fitzpatrick when i was an A Level politics student. I ended up on the cutting room floor but I was involving myself in politics and i knew what i was doing. Politics was something i was interested in then, as it is now. If i were to rise to the highest office in the land I might occasionally consider looking happy about it.

    Despite leaving the DUP over the leadership of David Trimble, she is making exactly the same mistakes as him, with an added dollop of corruption for good measure.
    Last edited by backstothewall; 19/02/2017 at 12:36 PM.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Foster wants a row and Brokenshire to avoid the issue, but what's to stop interested parties discussing with each other then costing some proposals?
    Sure, fair point.

    Truly bilingual? You aren't serious- the South has never been that despite nearly a century with Irish as the supposedly main language. As for public institutions, how do you see it working in the Courts, for example?
    Isn't Wales regarded as bilingual now?

    As for public institutions and the courts, translators could be used where there is no Irish speaker available in whatever role is concerned.

    I can't remember, although wasn't there a TV doc with her recently? Alas I missed it.
    I hadn't seen that either, although I had a look on YouTube there and came across an interesting talk she did on the history of Protestants and the Irish language:



    Fair points, although her going to watch both teams in France would still have been an empty stunt. With little or no credit either from the DUP base, or from broad Nationalism.
    Ah, I dunno. I think it would have been well received. When she congratulated us on our victory over Italy via Twitter, it was well received. Personally-speaking, I appreciated it. Going to one of our games would have showed initiative and would have amounted to a positive and progressive gesture of leadership.

    Was McGuinness shaking the queen's hand an empty stunt too then?

    Like many on here (I assume), I too think she's more than likely to go in March or soon after. Some combination of a fallen DUP vote share, weariness as you suggest and possibly whatever the RHI Inquiry unearths. But there's no guarantee. What will you do if she survives?
    I find it difficult to envisage her surviving, but, if she were indeed to hang on, something somehow will have to be made work that accommodates everybody. Or so I would hope anyway. If Stormont can't be made work, perhaps joint British and Irish authority would be a more tolerable alternative (if viable) than direct rule from Westminster.

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