Dublin Orange Lodge (@dublin1313) - Peaceful 12th obviously very effective in annoying our opponents

Previously the Martin McGuinness handshake had deprived loyalist hostility of its substance. 

Violence is utterly self-defeating. As the News Letter said:

"Loyalists have allowed Sinn Fein to depict themselves as the reasonable democrats" 


Alex Kane (@AlexKane221b) - The Mrs Lincoln argument

Alex Kane wrote in the News Letter in June 2014:

"At some point we’ll also hear someone deploy a variation of “the vast majority of [Orange Order/loyalist] parades pass off peacefully, it’s only a few that cause problems”. I call this the Mrs Lincoln argument, because it’s a bit like saying to the assassinated president’s wife, “but apart from that, how did you enjoy the play?"


"People don’t remember, let alone notice, the parades that pass off peacefully. They notice and remember the ones that result in protests, violence, stand-offs and heightened tensions. They notice the ones that dominate the headlines and confirm their opinion that nothing is ever really going to change here."

In full here: http://m.newsletter.co.uk/news/put-blame-where-it-belongs-the-parties-1-6149534

Julian O'Neill - 'Image problem' may explain fall in NI visitor numbers

An "image problem" may explain a fall in visitor numbers to Northern Ireland from across the border, according to a review of the tourism industry.

Overnight visitors from the Republic of Ireland declined by 7% in 2013.

A report for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) said "social unrest over parades and flags" had potentially had an impact.

It also said the local tourism industry was worried about "continuing sectarianism and racial prejudice".

The report said there needed to be "concerted action to promote a safe and secure image of Northern Ireland, including targeted marketing".

The review was ordered by DETI minister Arlene Foster last year.

It calls for a need "to deepen the relationship" between the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) and Invest NI.

It rules out a merger, but suggests a shared office and renaming the Tourist Board either Visit NI or Discover NI.

The recommendations contained in the report have been put out to public consultation.

It calls for an updated strategy and says the Tourist Board needs to improve "partnership working".

"NITB is at a crossroads," the report's author writes.

"Given the board's achievements in recent years... I am confident that NITB will meet the challenge."

Here: http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-28136326

Report here: http://www.detini.gov.uk/deti_tourism__14__review_doc_2-7.pdf

Matt Bagott tacitly slams unionist politicians for their licensing and indulgence of lawlessness

Matt Bagott tacitly slams unionist politicians for their licensing and indulgence of lawlessness http://tmblr.co/ZTxVUt1K4JoTu

Also said: I think there are times when politicians need to be less risk averse and actually more equivocal that, irrespective of if we like it or not the law is the law.

Matt Bagott - In terms of ordinary crime Nothern Ireland is probably the safest place I have ever worked
Matt Bagott said to the Belfast Telegraph: 
"In terms of ordinary crime, [Nothern Ireland] is not the most challenging. In fact, it is probably the safest place I have ever worked. Inner city crime in Peckham, where you have street gangs and hundreds of robberies every month, is much more challenging crime-wise."
In full here: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/matt-baggott-its-time-the-psni-stopped-dealing-with-past-30388114.html

Newton Emerson - Sinn Fein oppose integrated education and mixed housing because it normalises Northern Ireland

Newton Emerson wrote in the Irish News:

"As with integrated education, Sinn Fein sees mixed housing as a plot to "normalise" Northern Ireland and therefor partition."

John Tongue - Racist attacks damage loyalism

Jonathan Tongue, author of ‘The Democratic Unionist Party: From Protest to Power’ said:

“They [loyalists] don’t see how much damage these attacks are doing to their own image, their own communities even if, to be completely fair, loyalist leaders on the ground see this… There is a bit of a Millwall mentality within working-class loyalist communities – the perception that ‘no one likes us, we don’t care’.”

And then:

“These people [loyalists] are used to having a united identity and they are not used to outsiders in their midst. Catholics were driven from their areas decades ago so they are stunned by this recent wave of immigrants coming into their communities.”


Kyle Paisley criticism of Peter Robinson

Loyalist paramilitaries and racist attacks

Gerard Stewart, writing for the Institute for Race Relations said:

"There is a high correlation between racist attacks and areas which are a traditional heartland for affiliation to prominent Loyalist paramilitary groups."

Newton Emerson - The Sinn Fein game is to let Unionism drive itself mad then pick up the pieces

"In Northern Ireland... letting unionism drive itself mad then picking up the pieces has been the only game Gerry Adams has ever played."

Newton Emerson, The Irish News, May 29 2014. 


Newton Emerson - Large number of unionist parties increases unionism's overall share

In the Sunday Times of May 25 2014, Newton Emerson wrote of unionism:

"Unionism's overall share of the vote increased from 46.1% to 49.5%, boosted by the large number of unionist parties an their advice to transfer to all other unionists on the ballot."

Of nationalism:

"Nationalism lost out as a result, with Sinn Fein down to 24.1% of the first-preference vote from 24.8%, and the SDLP down to 13.6% from 15%."

And more:

"This continues the general trend in nationalism, where Sinn Fein has reached a plateau and is not benefitting from the SDLP's decline."

Survey of Fermanagh Orangemen

A first professional survey of Orangemen in Fermanagh found the following:

- Almost 50% of respondents believe the rule barring Orangemen from attending Mass should be changed. Just 25% believe it should stay.

(The Mass finding may be influenced by the overwhelmingly Church of Ireland make-up of Fermanagh Orangemen, with 77 per cent coming from an Anglican background.)

- 43% believe shared education should be encouraged, with 30% opposed 

- 33% of Fermanagh Orangemen do not think the Order is doing enough to promote good relations.

- Only 44% believe the wider Protestant/unionist community understand them.

One member told researchers: 

"No matter how we create good relations in Fermanagh we will always be let down by the hooligans in Belfast who tarnish our reputation."

The information-gathering exercise was run by consultancy firm Green Hat and partly funded by Fermanagh District Council. The  survey was sent to all the county’s roughly 1,800 Orangemen. The survey was run with the aim of improving relations in the Fermanagh area. A large percentage – almost a third – responded, and the results were published as a 166-page report last night.


Alex Kane on what's wrong with Unionism

William Scholes: 'Orange Order betrayed by Belfast hooligans'

Newton Emerson wrote in the Irish News of January 2 2014:

"The Haass talks failed because the DUP would not sign up to a legally binding code of conduct for parades."

He continued:

"In August 2014 Sinn Fein's IRA parade in Castlederg aped the worst aspects of the loyal orders to deliberately challenge unionism with the moral (or immoral) equivalence. Castlederg would have breached any code of conduct many times over and unionism could have sold a code to its voters on that basis."


"Instead, it appears that the DUP's priority is to continue humouring the worst excesses of the loyal orders, whatever the wider cost."

Alex Kane - Damaging the cause they claim to promote

Eamon Holmes on leadership

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Loyal to whom?

Matt Johnston (@cimota) on catholic education in Northern Ireland

Irish schools discriminate against 'new Irish'

The NUIG Whitaker Institute study, which focused on Galway as the most culturally diverse area in the State, says this will result in a significant “under-representation” of children of migrants in third-level institutions.

The research found non-migrant children were twice as likely to sit higher level Leaving Certificate mathematics than Irish-born children of foreign-born parents.

Non-migrant children are also 2.25 times more likely to sit higher level Leaving Certificate science than Irish-born children of foreign-born parents.

The study by Dr Valerie Ledwith and DrKathy Reilly at NUIG’s school of geography and archaeology found 66.7 per cent of non-migrants planned to attend university, compared to 56.2 per cent of migrant peers. They attributed this trend to a “regime of power relations that privilege the position of Irish nationals” when it comes to school enrolment and attendance.


The research also shows that young migrants are less likely to take Junior Certificate subjects at higher level, which restricts the student to sitting that subject at ordinary level for the Leaving Certificate.


Irish republican Stephen Murney on the PSNI

He said in an interview with the Ancient Order of Hibernians here:
"Despite the claims to the contrary by members of both constitutional nationalist parties in the Six Counties and by the establishment parties in the Free State, very little substantial change has occurred in respect of policing in the North. 
The name of the police force may have changed, but let’s not forget that the PSNI is a fully armed force with access to the most modern weaponry. It still operates under a whole raft of very draconian and far-reaching so-called ‘anti-terror’ legislation.
While the titles of the police force and the legislation that force has access to may have changed over the years, there is little to differentiate between supposedly modern, reformed policing and that which took place under the RUC and the legislation available to that force in previous decades. 

Ulster unionism weakens the Union

Former Sammy Wilson SpAd, Graham Craig said:

“I believe in the Union, I believe in a broader civic unionism and I believe that unionism needs to be more outward looking and be part of the wider UK conversation. An inward looking unionism is a great danger to the Union.”

Alex Kane - "UUP to the right of TUV"

The Northern Ireland moderate defined

Irish ethnicism

The non-voter - "Wealthy, slightly more likely to be Protestant and young-middle age"