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Thread: 2017 NI Assembly Election

  1. #41
    Seasoned Pro CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    Dear Jesus, reduced to trying to frighten people into the old not an inch muck of the past, isn't it depressing in the extreme that, twenty years into a shared future, to hear a NI leader spouting this kind of stuff. - http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakin...sh-775807.html


    Quote Originally Posted by Arlene Foster View Post
    The DUP will never agree to an Irish language act, party leader Arlene Foster has insisted.

    Mrs Foster said if there was to be an Irish language act, there should be a Polish language act because more people in the North speak Polish than Irish.

    Sinn Féin have made the introduction of an Irish language act a key demand going into next month's assembly election.


    DUP leader Arlene Foster.
    Referring to the demands, she told a party event in Lurgan: "If you feed a crocodile, it will keep coming back for more."

    In response to Mrs Foster's comments, Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams joked: "See you later, alligator".

    Mr Adams was attending Sinn Féin's candidate unveiling event in Belfast alongside the party's new Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill.

    Mrs O'Neill declined to be drawn on Mrs Foster's comments.

    "We are not interested in negativity," she said.

    "We are fighting this campaign. We have launched our candidates here this morning on the basis of three key principles - respect, equality for all, and integrity in the political institutions.

    "That's our job of work, that's what we are concerned with."

    Speaking earlier during the launch of the DUP campaign for the 2017 Assembly election, Mrs Foster said Gerry Adams, not Michelle O'Neill, is "front and centre" of the Sinn Féin campaign.


    Michelle O'Neill has replaced Martin McGuinness as Sinn Féin's leader in Stormont.
    She said: "So concerned were Sinn Féin about their faltering cause that Gerry Adams replaced Sinn Féin's leader with one of his own. Be very clear Michelle O'Neill was selected by Gerry Adams and she will be instructed by Gerry Adams.

    "Lets be very clear, at this election Gerry Adams is no longer in the shadows. He is front and centre of Sinn Féin's campaign.

    "Come election day, Sinn Féin could have enough seats to become the biggest party. Just imagine what Gerry Adams' radical agenda would mean for our way of life," said Mrs Foster.

    She said she understands the anger people feel over the botched renewable heating scheme.

    "No one feels worse about what happened than I do. I know for some doubts remain about the scheme and my role in it. I know for my part I have done nothing wrong. I know any investigation will clear my name.

    "We all know this election is not about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The RHI merely gives Sinn Féin the cover to bring down Stormont and force an election when they thought the DUP had been weakened.

    "Make no mistake , Gerry Adams is back and centre stage. (Michelle O'Neill) was handpicked by Gerry Adams. She will be there to seek to implement Adams' radical plan ... We are in for the fight our political lives."

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraftyToePoke View Post
    Dear Jesus, reduced to trying to frighten people into the old not an inch muck of the past, isn't it depressing in the extreme that, twenty years into a shared future, to hear a NI leader spouting this kind of stuff. - http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakin...sh-775807.html
    Just out of interest, what were you hoping/ expecting she'd say?

  3. #43
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    Something not as obviously inflammatory.
    You'd think given how the assembly fell that she'd have the cop on to try and row back. But no, she's so thick headed.

    She's bloody useless and Unionism doesn't need her as the "leader". It's embarrassing at this stage.
    DID YOU NOTICE A SIGN OUTSIDE MY HOUSE...?

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonnieShels View Post
    Something not as obviously inflammatory.
    You'd think given how the assembly fell that she'd have the cop on to try and row back. But no, she's so thick headed.

    She's bloody useless and Unionism doesn't need her as the "leader". It's embarrassing at this stage
    Everyone agrees we're in a bad-tempered campaign for an election which every party other than SF thinks is unnecessary and a distraction from more urgent issues. No-one involved is likely to be conciliatory at this stage.

    Foster's line seems to be as follows,

    1 Look, I'm sorry that the RHI thing got out of hand, but we're having an Inquiry and I'm confident it won't find I personally have done anything wrong

    2 Most Unionists think making a language barely anybody speaks a deal-breaker is pretty silly, even if they don't share my personal hostility to it

    3 If Michelle doesn't like being dismissed as Gerry's poodle she could have insisted on an open election, even if just of SF MLAs

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    2 Most Unionists think making a language barely anybody speaks a deal-breaker is pretty silly, even if they don't share my personal hostility to it
    You're missing the point, as does Foster. The value of the language isn't limited simply to how many people are presently able to speak it. Legislative protection to help the revival, revitalisation and/or promotion of the Irish language, a language native to the region and for which a significant portion of the northern population (including unionists/loyalists) have warm sentiment and undeniably strong cultural connection (see those with "Mc" surnames, for example), was agreed at St. Andrews. The British government committed to introducing an Irish language act and the DUP backed that agreement. The agreement stated:

    "The Government will introduce an Irish Language Act reflecting on the experience of Wales and Ireland and work with the incoming Executive to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language."

    Out of interest, why do you have a personal hostility towards the language of your ancestors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    You're missing the point, as does Foster. The value of the language isn't limited
    I get the point quite well, thanks. Mine is that it's importance as a political issue and so the amount of resources, time, exagggerated outrge and the rest) isn't unlimited as you seem to think.

    Out of interest, why do you have a personal hostility towards the language of your ancestors?
    I don't. That post above made clear I was summarising what I think is Foster's position. My own- as previously described on here- is that I hope the language survives and prospers, including in NI. That would be better achieved by support for existing speakers, pupils and teachers, than by setting up an as-yet uncosted bureaucracy with the inevitable add-on of annoying Unionists for the sake of it. And most importantly, I don't want broad local government- ambulances, public housing, school budgets and the like- grinding to a standstill over a lesser issue.

    I would enact for the language. As you say, a deal's a deal. I wouldn't collapse government at any level over it.

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    Maybe you need to look at the reason why it's a 'language barely anyone speaks', as opposed to the usual hot air? No pun intended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    That post above made clear I was summarising what I think is Foster's position. My own- as previously described on here- is that I hope the language survives and prospers, including in NI.
    Apologies, my mistake. I misconstrued what you'd written and thought you were expressing a personal view rather than summarising Foster's likely view.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    C4AjUmSWAAI6y2R.jpgC4Am0-vWMAE3Bdv.jpgC4D-YYhWIAAFtm_.jpgC4EBwoGWMAAcoSA.jpg

    SF are getting great mileage from Foster's speech. It's all good fun and it's making the DUP look like idiots.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

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    DI: no problem.

    Wolfie: people in Belfast, Derry or Newry don't speak Irish for the same reason I don't keep up the Arabic or Swahili I learned during my childhood living abroad. Because they can't be bothered. Not because some evil Brit Unionist conspiracy is forcing them to learn in secret under a hedge or whatever. My own school in Belfast (big and well-resourced, admittedly) offered Irish O-Level/ GCSE back in the 70s.

    BttW: the measure of that mileage isn't a fw tweets or cartoons, it's how much their vote share increases. And not just from SDLP- for it to be significant they'd need to involve previous non-voters and pull people back from PBP, Alliance, Green etc.

    PS I did like the pic outside Nelson Mancausla's office. In recent interviews, he's been claiming both that Irish has too few speakers, as I have, but also that ongoing costs are a problem, ie there will be too many speakers
    Last edited by Gather round; 09/02/2017 at 8:20 AM.

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    Total Candidates:

    DUP 38, SF 34, UUP 24, AP 21, SDLP 21, GP 18

    TUV 14, Tory 13, PBP 7, WP 5, Labour Alternative 4, PUP 3, CISTA 3, UKIP 1 (ONE)

    Independents 22

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  13. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Just out of interest, what were you hoping/ expecting she'd say?

    Hoping or expecting different beasts those two.

    What she should do ... she should accept her situation, there would be more dignity in it for her.

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    Fair enough. Were Foster pretty much anywhere else bar NI, she'd have resigned, or been forced to. But instead, she need only carry the support of her base within the DUP. And then say her survival is crucial to the Peace Process/ Maintenance of the Union, or whatever.

    Having secured that base, what she's saying has some logic. Nobody floats their vote from SF or SDLP to DUP, so she doesn't have to be polite to them. Merely stay well ahead of Nesbitt and Allister while winning one more seat than O'Neill. I suppose if she fails in the latter the DUP might kick her out, but the bookies etc think it unlikely

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    DI: no problem.

    BttW: the measure of that mileage isn't a fw tweets or cartoons, it's how much their vote share increases. And not just from SDLP- for it to be significant they'd need to involve previous non-voters and pull people back from PBP, Alliance, Green etc.

    PS I did like the pic outside Nelson Mancausla's office. In recent interviews, he's been claiming both that Irish has too few speakers, as I have, but also that ongoing costs are a problem, ie there will be too many speakers
    I think there is a realisation there that they have more or less hit the high water mark. The rump of SDLP voters left aren't going to be convinced at this stage. But despite the media obsession about the battles within nationalism & unionism between the main parties, I think SF get that the real threat to them is from PBP. They can't afford to give out a hint of looking lethargic, or Gerry Carroll will eat them alive.

    At the same time they will be happy enough for PBP to get those SDLP voters SF know they can't reach. They are an all-ireland party after all who SF could easily see themselves in coalition with in the republic somewhere down the road.

    Stuff like the crocodile oufits allows them to appear dynamic and anti-establishment in front of the electorate, despite having been part of the governing coalition for 15 years or so. It's quite the trick.
    Bring Back Belfast Celtic F.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BttW
    I think there is a realisation there that they have more or less hit the high water mark
    With turnout below 60% across NI (although previously much higher), there must be some potential to find new voters, or attact back old ones?

    The rump of SDLP voters left aren't going to be convinced at this stage. But despite the media obsession about the battles within nationalism & unionism between the main parties, I think SF get that the real threat to them is from PBP. They can't afford to give out a hint of looking lethargic, or Gerry Carroll will eat them alive
    Aye. The Battles within the Blocs are overplayed. The DUP have been pretty hapless but look likely to beet UUP and TUV comfortably again. While SDLP are a threat not to SF's leadership of Nationalism, but to the latter's hopes of outpointing DUP for the FM gig.

    At the same time they will be happy enough for PBP to get those SDLP voters SF know they can't reach. They are an all-ireland party after all who SF could easily see themselves in coalition with in the republic somewhere down the road
    McCann said in a recent BBC interview that, had the election not come so quickly, PBP were hoping to have a full slate of candidates. SDLP may be relieved that they haven't

    Stuff like the crocodile oufits allows them to appear dynamic and anti-establishment in front of the electorate, despite having been part of the governing coalition for 15 years or so. It's quite the trick
    It's a stunt. PBP haven't built up a vote in WB because there's been a lack of SF activists in fancy dress, surely?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Wolfie: people in Belfast, Derry or Newry don't speak Irish for the same reason I don't keep up the Arabic or Swahili I learned during my childhood living abroad. Because they can't be bothered. Not because some evil Brit Unionist conspiracy is forcing them to learn in secret under a hedge or whatever. My own school in Belfast (big and well-resourced, admittedly) offered Irish O-Level/ GCSE back in the 70s.

    BttW: the measure of that mileage isn't a fw tweets or cartoons, it's how much their vote share increases. And not just from SDLP- for it to be significant they'd need to involve previous non-voters and pull people back from PBP, Alliance, Green etc.

    PS I did like the pic outside Nelson Mancausla's office. In recent interviews, he's been claiming both that Irish has too few speakers, as I have, but also that ongoing costs are a problem, ie there will be too many speakers
    More complete fantasy about the Irish language.

    Clearly you don't know much about the history of the island, probably much of it from long before your ancestors 'blew in'.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    With turnout below 60% across NI (although previously much higher), there must be some potential to find new voters, or attract back old ones?
    I honestly doubt it. Over 20years turnout figures have gone from being incredibly high, to about normal for equivalent countries. Turning out your own vote these days means making sure you avoid your own voters becoming disillusioned with what you are doing and staying in the house (it will be interesting to see if the DUP vote turns out to defend their record this time). It will make a difference at the edges but it's always going to be within a few percentage points of where they are now for SF. The days of 80%+ turnout in Fermanagh South Tyrone are gone forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    It's a stunt. PBP haven't built up a vote in WB because there's been a lack of SF activists in fancy dress, surely?
    It surely was a stunt, but it was a bloody good one. Underestimate a good political stunt at your peril.

    When was the last time you can remember the SDLP doing something like that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BttW
    The days of 80%+ turnout in Fermanagh South Tyrone are gone forever
    True, but more modest increases are possible. The North Down turnout last year was up 3 or 4%, for example.

    It surely was a stunt, but it was a bloody good one. Underestimate a good political stunt at your peril...when was the last time you can remember the SDLP doing something like that?
    I doubt Nichola Mallon (at risk of losing her SDLP seat in NB) underestimates SF's ability to fight back. As for stunts generally I don't think they have that much effect- if they did there'd be a lot more UKIP, Green and Lib Dem MPs.

    Anyway, the top dogs are well into their electioneering, including on mainstream media. 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. Meanwhile, Mike and Colm are still mates but won't necessarily give the other's party their second preference...

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    Except, possibly an interesting development, as UUP leader Mike Nesbitt supports the idea of direct transfers to the SDLP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
    Except, possibly an interesting development, as UUP leader Mike Nesbitt supports the idea of direct transfers to the SDLP.
    I agree Nesbitt's call on UUP voters not to merely transfer their vote to other unionists is significant. This has always happened a bit (and vice versa), in an effort to keep SF/ DUP out, so making it more open and hopefully mainstream is probably a good thing.

    In practice, of course there are anomalies. As Eastwood said, his personal #2 will obviously go to his SDLP running mate. Nesbitt also has a UUP running mate, but Mike can't even vote for himself as he lives in a different constituency.

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