Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

It's all about electioneering and the border, stupid

"it's the economy, stupid." This was a sign hung up in President Bill Clinton's campaign headquarters by a guy named James Carville in the run up to the 1992 American elections.

It was in response to a question: "What was the campaign all about?"

Fast forward to the present day in the run-up to the General Election and we have all sorts of political activity with people asking, "What is it all about?" Firstly, we have the, 'Back to the Future' Unionist/Conservative pact. What's that all about? Well, actually it's about David Cameron and the possibility of a hung Parliament, stupid. It's about the end of the Tories being an honest broker in the peace process, stupid.

It's about Cameron using the UUP, or whosoever else, for his own ambitions and, if that has a negative impact on the peace process here, then so bit it, stupid.

It's about the SDLP attempting to cuddle up to the UUP to try and form an official opposition against the DUP and Sinn Fein, little realising that the UUP, the DUP and the Conservatives were having a clandestine meeting to gang up on them and the Shinners in Fermanagh/South Tyrone, stupid.

It was - and is - an attempt to return to the bad old days of sectarian, tribal politics, stupid. Everyone is saying this election is about the economy; it's about the jobs; it's about the recession. I wish it were. In a normal society, in normal politics, it should be about those things. Unfortunately, we are still not a normal society and most certainly the politics are not normal. You see, it's not about the economy, stupid. It's about the border, stupid.

BRIAN MAGUIRE

Belfast

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