“Listen for the dog-whistle” – By Terry Wright

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So, there we have it. The parties which brokered the Good Friday Agreement have lost the steel in their political spine and made way for abstentionists and obstructionists. Spokespersons can spin it whatever way they like but the inference is clear. Heavy lifting is at end. Vote Steve or Nichola and you don’t get either.


Clare is not running so that you can have Claire. Anti-abstentionists are abstaining so that you can have an abstentionist but running elsewhere so that you can avoid having an abstentionist. Abstentionists are standing aside so that you can have a non-abstentionist. The ‘it’s better to remain’ UUP is standing aside so that you have a’Leaver..’ ‘Alliance does not want any alliances. An MEP who wants to remain in Europe is looking to leave Europe. In Fermanagh and South Tyrone, the pro-Leave DUP is standing aside so that you can have a UUP now’ remain, ‘or is it ‘leave’, candidate and whatever happened to the SDLP – Fianna Fáil pact? Have they gone away, you know? They may be the only people with good sense.

Confused, welcome to the Brexit Uncivil War General Election in Northern Ireland, 2019.

Manifestoes should make for an interesting read. Jobs, schools, the economy, infra-structure, the future, reconciliation. Who needs them.? You have to legislate for legislators who do not legislate so no need to be overly-concerned and take them too seriously. You’ll get to see a consultant some time; just keep taking the pills while we still have them. It’ll soon be the marching season again and making sure your home is not burned to the ground by a bonfire will focus the mind. Did someone say “burned? Rings a Bell….

As for the voters, sure half of you don’t vote so the politicians will choose for you and rule your lives. People don’t know what to do with power. Like heroes of old appointed leaders will muster the flock. You just have to be a good sheep, listen for the dog-whistle, look for the right marking and follow the herd. Don’t look for border collies, they’re frictionless these days. Make sure you stay in your pen. We have to preserve the Good Friday Agreement whatever that was; something to do with peace, prosperity and working together.

But, there is hope. Boris may trump all opposition. Isn’t democracy great!

Where would we be without first past the post elections?

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