In what, surely, must be one of the most depressing reads, Sam McBride’s interview of UUP “leader” Mike Nesbitt is a perfect encapsulation of the depravity of Northern Ireland politics.
McBride has provided an insight into the ‘thinking’ of a man who has managed to shrink the UUP into boneless form. Rather than a Party for “decent people” Nesbitt sees Unionism as nothing more than a vehicle for Protestantism. That is the extent of the policies needed to achieve the vote. Orange. Period. Nothing else matters in Nesbitt’s political world.
Nesbitt believes that as long as he and his DUP cronies serve up the bad-smelling muck of sectarianism the voters will come out in their droves. The hapless Unionist candidates need to make the appropriate noises that roughly (and not at any detailed level, because detail is the stuff of policy and decision-making) correspond to some rough definition of Prod. So ideally some link to Ulster-Scotscrap “identity” nonsense, a whiff of Orange Order brethren garbage and an just a little squirt of Shinner bashing for good measure. (And all served up with a little scent-spray of anti-popery).
What Nesbitt seems to have missed is that no-one cares any more about this inanity-fest that passes for politics. The reason people vote for the full-frontal lobe-rendered excuse for politics is that there’s nothing else on offer. Voters are offered crap and vote for crap. Or don’t vote because they aren’t fond of crap in any of its forms.
So read this and weep folks. This is the thinking that leads Unionism.