Politics without purpose?

19 12 2007

Staff at Bobballs are grateful to The Belfast Telegraph for holding firm to their quarterly Johnny Andrews page. Not entirely sure why he gets handed op-ed space with such regularity (such free rein based on such little qualification as can be discerned by staff at Bobballs).

Nevertheless, the people of Northern Ireland must not be denied exclusive access to Andrews’s brain.

This quarter Johnny is mostly a Tory. Which is nice. (He wasn’t always a friend of the Tories.) The exaggerated emphasis on the individual seemed an unnecessary display of Tory ritual love-making. But who’s the audience? Who is he trying to woo?

As always staff at Bobballs were struck by the nice ‘shared future’ commitment, and Johnny’s detachment from reality.

While alot of his article is coherent, consistent and reasonably well presented, it gets slightly confused. Like trying to make the case for the economic union but then complaining UK treasury screwed Robinson over… and NI which, er, of course is to screw over an integral part of the Union.

But worst of all, the fact that he’s talking bollocks about his great granda and the Golden Age of emancipation of the 30s indicates at best a kind of degenerative ancestor worship, or at worst reactionary politics at the heart of this supposedly newly re-invigorated UUP.

The normal inspirational pillars of confident unionism are all there. The rise of nationalism in Scotland and Wales, some bollocks about a Royal Commission, and the inherent danger of allowing Paisley to do precisely what he’s congratulated for doing in the opening paragraph. All the usual paranoid doggerel was really good to see. Then it concludes with no solution but more questions – we have to understand how to reassert the Union etc etc.

Having said all that, it’s largely a well-written article – better than almost anything anyone else in the party is capable of producing (erm… including Johnny?). But will most people not read through it and be left wondering… okay, but what was the point of all that?

If this is another of Johnny’s solo runs, it’s just a waste of newspaper. How will Johnny/UUP follow up on something that approximates the right path towards the finding the right message (albeit expressed in an occasionally confused way)?

None of this is essentially new. So where’s it all going? Johnny? Ghost-writer? Anyone? Is this more politics without purpose from the UUP?




3 responses

20 12 2007
ossified of aotearoa

Bobballs anticipates my very brainwaves now! I had just been viewing that self-same article and was just thinking that this was quite the sort of thing which only staff at Bobballs might possibly be able to make sense of…

20 12 2007

“Politics without Purpose” 2009…

the next UUP campaign theme?

24 12 2007

Ah, Ossified – it’s always difficult watching Andrews have a go at this, isn’t it? Right general idea, but my god is it ever the wrong person.

But here’s to you Ossified… hope you find some juicy/inspiring politics to feed on down under. Look forward to hearing from Rehydrated of Aotearoa in the New Year. If for no other reason than to offer a kind of absolution to those of us who naively believed in the worth politics before actually getting involved in it. Best of British!


I genuinely hope not. But who could rule it out?

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