Three Generations of LetsGetAlongerists

I wonder if LetsGetAlongerism is changing. Well……everything is changing.

Back in the 1960s there were so-called liberal unionists who thought that sectarianism was outdated and we could all just get along if Catholics just became unionist and…conservative. Give a Catholic a house and a job and he is happy with the Union. So thought Terence O’Neill. After the Crossroads Election of 1969, some well-meaning unionists joined with some self-loathing Catholics formed the Alliance Party.

In the Alliance Party, letsgetalongerism became institutionalised.

A central feature of letsgetalongerism is self-loathing.

“My father was an Orangeman in Ballymena but….I met a nice Catholic girl and we live in Bangor and our kids went to an integrated school and we vote Alliance. Now just sign me up to a well paid quango”.

“My daddy was a militant republican and I went to a school where I was taught by nuns but I met a nice Englishman and I live in Carryduff and we vote Alliance and Id like to be on a quango please”.

Fur coat…no knickers.

You know them as well as I do.

One of the platforms of the Alliance Party is that we are partly British and partly Irish. If we all thought like Alliance Party members then there would be no Troubles. There is a core belief that we are all (except the Alliance Party of course) responsible for the Troubles.

We must rid ourselves of the baggage of our personal baggage. It is a seductive thought. But it is wrong. We should all challenge our background. I challenged mine but came thru it. My family was an amazing blessing. School was brutal and brutalising. Catholicism was kinda neutral.

I have a lot of sympathy for people who have good reason to resent and eventually reject their background. But I do not believe that ALL of us were oppressed, depressed, repressed and suppressed. If I had a lousy childhood, I would write a book and it would win the Booker Prize and be turned into an Oscar-winning movie. I might call it “Angela’s……” oh wait that book and movie is already out there.

But there is a streak in LetsGetAlongerism that seems to believe that rejection of our personal history is a pre-requisite to a better way. The fault is 50-50 but that’s not Politics or History. It is just Mathematics. No…in the 800 years of Anglo-Irish History, the Irish are basically the good guys. We are on the right side of History. The Alliance Party sits on the fence between the right and wrong side of History.

History does not stand still.

There is maybe a new generation of LetsGetAlongerism that is going to replace the Alliance Party’s version.

In fairness, I should mock it.

“I was brought up Catholic/Protestant but I identify as young, straight/gay male/femaletransgendered….European climate change activist and vegetarian and progressive and I vote Green…oh and by the way as Ireland is more progressive than Norn Iron, then I have an Irish passport”.

Getting along is never enough. Standing still is never enough and the Alliance Party will never get past doing nothing.


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13 Responses to Three Generations of LetsGetAlongerists

  1. CON MCKENNA says:

    Members of the Alliance Party tend to be arrogant, very, very arrogant BUT they also tend to be well-meaning.  Problem is that much harm has been done by well-meaning fools.

  2. hoboroad says:

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions

  3. hoboroad says:

    Didn’t the mask slip over the Bloody Sunday enquiry?

    • Indeed. I am working on my next post. In some ways, there is a moratorium on saying what I really want to say because of the tragedy in Derry on Thursday night. Yet some who have (rightly) called for respect until a decent time elapses seem anxious to set a narrative now.

  4. zig70 says:

    Gave this to the wife to read and she said it’s as if someone read her mind! Praise of the highest order as she’s always right.

  5. michael c says:

    one of their election candidates is….

    EDITED as I dont do gossip and innuendo.

  6. Vince says:

    What on Earth happened to Alliance in Castlereagh South?? One of their councillors, from an ethnic background is now running for the……………..DUP! What kind of meltdown would compel anyone to make that shift? And another of their councillors in the same DEA is now running as an independent?

  7. Vince…its an unusual one. A couple of days ago I wrote that there is a new generation of “LetsGetAlongerists”. In the previous Assembly….Lo, Ford, McCarthy, Lunn, Dickson were old and maybe held on or are still holding on …Armstrong has replaced McCarthy, Blair has replaced Ford and Bradshaw-Parsley has replaced Lo.
    But this is mirrored at council level and arguably young folks are anxious about careers and opportunites. And equally veterans are maybe feeling that youngsters are breathing down their necks
    I have only met Geraldine Rice once and I saw Ms Kamble at an election count. I don’t know either but I daresay Ms Rice is Old Alliance rather than New Alliance.
    Alliance has been able to exist on glib sloganizing. I think the current slogan on lampposts is “Demand Better”. A vote for Alliance is really a vote for coffee mornings and cream cakes and driving BMWs. Sooner or later they have to face up to the Greens and real issues like human rights and climate change.

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