Thursday, November 08, 2001
What price for Poor David's survival?

Poor David Trimble lives to fight another day.

This is a particularly daft way of dealing with Ulster Prods. They have always been keen on promises, after all the largest bunch of them are Calvinists who seemed to be remarkably keen on keeping their word. I really don't think that the re-designating of the Alliance politicians soured the Unionists - after all they are keeping to the letter of the law - it was the fact that the 60 day rule wasn't kept to. What I found fascinating in the heated press conference was the plaintive cries of "cheat". They really felt hurt. David Trimble is going to pay for that sense of hurt.

It was a bit like the Portillo escapade. Everyone says that it was his support for marijuana legalisation or gay rights that did it for him. Nonsense. What did it for him was when he suggested imposing all women short lists on Tory associations. This was when the chairmen and activists went bonkers, they weren't going to have any dodgy Spaniard interfering in their patch.

Wind Change?

Word has reached me that the "Westminster Campsie Club of the Apprentice Boys of Derry" are going to be holding a seminar on the history of Ulster Protestants. This is intriguing, as these people are basically right wing English Tories with a few exiled Ulstermen. As you would expect they are of the Powellite "Integrationist" school of Unionism rather than the Paisleyite Stormont variety. Scottish devolution saw off the integrationist argument, that once Ulster was integrated with Britain then the Republicans would know that any attempt to overthrow the majority will by violence would be futile. Talking about the history of Ulster Protestants is to recognise them as a seperate culture (which of course they are to all except the integrationists and the Republicans). To recognise them as a seperate culture is to fumble towards the ultimate justification for Unionism (or rather non-unionism with Eire), self determination.

Its taken five years to realise it, but this staunch and influential outpost of integrationism seems to be realising the futility of this course. Lets hope that the intelectual dead end of integrationism has left the stage. Unionism without the Union is the best course for Ulster, lets hope they realise it.


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