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ireland, irish, ulster, ireland, irish, ulster, Sinn Féin, Irish America

Save Stormont or face mayhem: Opposition is badly needed

(John Coulter, Irish Daily Star)

Save Stormont! This must be the primary objective of the new Northern super councillors, MEPs across Ireland, and indeed any Southern politicians who want to see peace on this island.

If Stormont falls, the dissident loyalist movement will fill the void in the Protestant community.

There is the real danger a significant section of loyalist opinion will adopt the view: well, if it worked for the Provos in the 1970s, it can work for us, too!

The hard reality is that Stormont is merely a two-party parliament and the rest of the parties might as well not be there.

Stormont badly needs a formal opposition to hold the government parties to account.

If London and Dublin thought creating a situation where the extremes – the Dupes and Shinners – ran a coalition government, then it has misfired badly.

In Britain, as the European results come in today, Prime Minister Dandy Dave Cameron's Tories are expected to take big hits from Nifty Nige Farage's staunchly Eurosceptic Ukip.

Dave needs a new political partner to go to bed with for next year's Westminster poll because it's already clear his current pal, Lib Dem boss Nasty Nick Clegg, is buggered.

Dave has been wooing the DUP because its eight or nine MPs could make the difference between Cameron continuing as Prime Minister, or being dumped onto the back benches as the former Tory leader.

What British politics really needs is a merger between the Tories and Ukip, with Nigel Farage as leader and London Mayor Boris Johnston as deputy. But an NF/Bo-Jo 'marriage' could take time to happen.

In the meantime, Dave urgently needs to cut a deal with the DUP's Nigel, not Ukip's Nigel.

The Shinners must be hopping mad at the prospect of a potential Tory/DUP coalition government at Westminster.

Expect a hastily-called Ard Fheis to dump the Commons abstention policy. Since the 1981 hunger strike, the Brits have succeeded in sucking Sinn Féin into virtually every parliament imaginable.

Sinn Féin has been 'Anglo-sized' from being the IRA's political apologist to taking its seats in the Dail, Europe, and Stormont.

If the Shinners can run a partitionist parliament at Stormont with the DUP, it could run Westminster with Dave's Tories, and a Celtic Front of Sinn Féin, Scottish and Welsh Nationalist MPs.

If the price of gaining an all-island political set-up was jumping into bed with the Tories at Westminster, Sinn Féin will be in that bed faster than a virgin on her wedding night!

In spite of all the pro-Union parties in the elections, there is no Northern party to take on the DUP, so Dave has no choice but to court Nigel Dodds since Stormont First Minister Robbo lost his East Belfast Commons bolthole.

Dave could woo Nigel Dodds by offering a Northern MP a cabinet seat, but making a DUP MP Northern Secretary might be a bridge too far to cross.

As for the Shinners, all the polls so far indicate that the balance of power within the republican movement is now shifting once more from Belfast to Dublin.

Then again, with Stormont on the brink, is this a deal between the Dupes and Shinners to collapse the Assembly so that they won't be blamed for the terrible austerity cuts which are about to be unleashed on the North?

If I was Marty McGuinness, I'd get back in the Commons before Dodds delivers his DUP team to Dave.

A Dodds/Dave alliance could scupper the Shinners for a generation in the North. Don't say you haven't been warned, Marty!

Date, 2014
________________

This article appeared in the Date, 2014 edition of the Irish Daily Star.

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