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Sunday and other stupid media statements of this week May 15, 2022

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Starting with this from the IT during the week, an embarrassment of riches in the linked article, but none more so than the following.

No one is more derided in right-on political discussion than the centrist. But that’s where Alliance has always planted its yellow flag: the boring, non-sectarian middle ground. Instead of a divided, fragile Executive held to ransom by one party or another exploiting division, it wants a devolved government formed by willing partners rather than a mandatory coalition as laid down in the Belfast Agreement.

The sheer normality of Long’s ambition in 2022 is almost touching. For those arguing that it would be incompatible with the agreement, Newton Emerson even suggests a “voluntary-mandatory” coalition, ie the two largest parties are entitled to places but not required to take them. What are the chances?

As someone BTL in comments on the piece asked, what does the author think the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement was about, what does she think is the nature of the polity in Northern Ireland? 

Mark Paul is at it again in the IT:

Catherine Martin, the Green Party’s deputy leader and the Minister for Tourism, has proven to be a capable advocate for the sector at the Cabinet table during the pandemic. She demanded buckets of cash and Donohoe had no option but to give it to her, especially as the tourism sector was being so cruelly sacrificed for the good of the State in the fight against coronavirus.

For the good of the State? Capital ‘S’? Surely he means for the good of the citizens of this state? 

Speaking of the song remaining the same, from yesterday there’s this:

If you had asked a year ago would Micheál Martin see out his term as Taoiseach, it was at best a 50:50 bet.

So loathed was he within his own party over the poor start to this government, his overly cautious handling of Covid-19 and poor opinion polls, talk of a heave had elevated beyond mutterings over pints or cups of coffee.

Earlier in the week there’s this:

 All of a sudden, it seems, Ireland wields outsized influence on the international stage. And its soft power – long extant – has morphed into something of a marvel… The shift also emerges from the central role Ireland took in the Brexit negotiations. And that is something not just thanks to the unfortunate facts of geography that thrust the Border into the epicentre of events, but also the product of a clever and well-oiled diplomatic mission.

No disrespect to the diplomatic mission, but surely it is almost entirely about the ‘unfortunate facts of geography’. Which is why we don’t hear much about Belgium or the Czech Republic taking a central role in Brexit negotiations.

Finally, in a week where no end of commentators have been talking about the need to ‘amend’ the GFA/BA (as with this example) we have the following in the SBP today:

But the agreement has never lived up to expectations; although even saying that has come to be viewed as almost heretical. One reason is because the agreement is so often wrongly conflated with the much wider peace process. In fact, the agreement was the political outworking of a peace process, not the process itself. It is an institutional framework that can and should be tweaked or changed if it is not working, as happened in 2006 with the St Andrews Agreement, for instance.

Any other examples?


1. An Sionnach Fionn - May 15, 2022

I’m sure the sudden flurry of Irish media commentators suggesting that the GFA should be amended has nothing at all to do with the electoral successes of Sinn Fein or the electoral discomfort of unionism in the north. Not at all…

Liked by 2 people

2. LMS - May 15, 2022

My granny used to refuse to buy or read the IT because it was a “unionist paper”. I always thought that was a bit of an antiquated paper but given the recent commentary perhaps not…

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 15, 2022

Agree, and I think it’s not even/just unionism or even unionist adjacent, though functionally it has that aspect so much as a middle class and upper middle class status quo-ism.

It’s the ‘people like us’ thing they recognise in Alliance and before them parts of the UUP – something recognisable, comfortable. It raises fewer questions, it doesn’t place any difficult choices in front of them. It means that the rather comfortable lives they have can continue. It’s the same dynamic as the tranches of the middle class who would vote Tory in the UK: taxes don’t have to go up, they’re doing okay, why rock the boat.

Liked by 2 people

EWI - May 15, 2022

It is somehow a voice for Redmondism more than a hundred years after that phenomenon actually expired with the electorate (Collins, Carey while she was still there, McGreevy – all huge fans).


3. EWI - May 15, 2022

Finally in week where no end of commentators have been talking about the need to ‘amend’ the GFA/BA

Not difficult to see the strings being pulled here, along with the all-too-evident hostility of the southern govt to the new largest party in Stormont. The poor SDLP, discarded and forgotten once its’ main utility has expired.

Liked by 1 person

4. roddy - May 15, 2022

The Staters and the establishment failed to read the room in 1998.They saw the future as one where a demoralised and divided SF would fade into oblivion while the “nice” SDLP would be in power forever with the “moderate” UUP. However Gerry Adams was having none of it and succeeded in turning SF into a massive political force on this island.Never in their worst nightmares did the establishment envisage how things would turn out.If anybody wants a look at how “Free Statism”has been routed up here,look no further than West Belfast ,which is represented at Stormont by 4 Shinners and a Trot!

Liked by 2 people

5. Starkadder - May 15, 2022

“4 Shinners and a Trot!”

That’s the name of my new indie band sorted! 🙂


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