Some serious Unionist thinking required…

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Peter Robinson, July 2009:

When I first became the leader of the DUP, I stated that one of my objectives would be to increase the confidence and understanding of the Unionist people concerning their history and heritage. My plans for the development of a Unionist Academy are at an advanced stage and will be made public soon.

That pledge followed on from this promise made in June 2008:

Party leader Peter Robinson yesterday revealed plans for a Unionist Academy, which will promote the unionist culture and the advantages of the Union; encourage unionist learning in the community and provide a forum for unionist strategising and policy-making and a British Cultural and Equality Unit to provide legal advice to the public on fighting the removal of British emblems from Northern Ireland society. 

The twin-pronged initiative will be officially unveiled in September. 

He explained that the Academy will be a think-tank – as opposed to a bricks and mortar establishment. 

Two years on, September 2011, we still await the official unveiling of that think-tank…. 

Following the SNP’s victory in May’s Scottish elections, a group of Scottish Unionists set up “Stronger Union”- “a think-tank highlighting the benefits and making the positive case for a New United Kingdom, a partnership of equals.” They haven’t responded to several emails asking for further details about their plans. From the scant information available, the “think tank” seem to believe that the Union consists merely of England and Scotland and to date their efforts to preserve the UK appear to consist of the posting of various articles from The Scotsman to their Facebook page. 

I have a suspicion that the typical Sluggerite would look upon the whole concept of Think Tanks with a weary “oh here we go again, yet another talking-shop full of self-important busy bodies that nobody listens to” cynicism but with the correct focus and a narrow enough set of objectives they can be an effective research and advocacy tool as the examples of Compass on the Left and the Adam Smith Institute on the free-market Right have proven. 

 Does Unionism require such a tool at the present juncture in our nation’s history? 

There are (at the very minimum) two inconvenient facts which should be giving even the most complacent  pause for thought:

 1.At the last Assembly Election in N.Ireland, close to 560,000 of the potential electorate did not vote; the gap between the total unionist (excluding Alliance) and nationalist vote was approximately 35,000. If the pro-Union parties were to poll less than Sinn Fein and the SDLP at the next election that wouldn’t, of course, herald the hoisting of the Irish tricolour over Stormont the very next day but it would in all likelihood create a strong all-Ireland momentum and momentum (or the perception of momentum) is all important in modern politics.

2.The Union, as the word implies, is not a one-way street.  In the British context it means a Union of four constituent parts, one of those parts leaves then we no longer have a Union. If the latest opinion polls are to be believed, then not only are the SNP now Scotland’s governing party but also their ultimate target of separating from the rest of the UK is shared by a majority of their country’s electorate. 

Not to mention the other tensions present within the Union such as the West Lothian Question, the devolved tuition fees scandal, the Barnett Formula etc, etc and etc. The Unionist Establishment’s response to all this has been a mixture of complacent apathy (in N.Ireland) and rank incompetence (in Scotland and in the rest of the UK). 

We (the believers in the Union) need to be doing some mighty serious thinking and coming up with some mighty good solutions for these questions pretty soonish.  Us *little people* can try with our blogs (including the newly resurrected Open Unionism;))Facebook and Twitter and to an extent all three help facilitate debate amongst the politerati… but in reality, they have had  little to no effect on the real world out there. 

 We really do need the pro-Union Establishment, on both sides of the Irish Sea, to be shaking itself out of its present state of complacent incompetence and employing its political and economic resources to starting something more concrete and powerful to facilitate the fightback.

Time to start the thinking?

  • Munsterview

    Consul : unlike your good self, my profile is there for all to see.

    Since you have not given a yardstick to judge your comments by, perhaps you would kindly lay out your grand vision for the future

    1) in relation to Governance of the Twenty-Six Counties , of the Six Counties and of the Thirty Two- Counties, and

    2) in relation to an outline of the economic policies that you think should be pursued in an ideal future, and

    3) why there was such a catastrophic failure of Institutional Checks, balances, early warnings systems and failure to act in the mounting evidence of a looming crisis and disaster, and

    4) what you think should be done to hold the public servants and watchdogs that so miserably failed us to account for their actions, and

    5) what action you think should be taken against the Builders, Bankers and assorted Wankers , the white collar, corrupt criminals that got us into this mess.

    That should start things off nicely if you want to engage or are you content to ‘bitch from the ditch’ merely relying on snide, dismissive comment to disguise that you are all show and no substance ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Since you have not given a yardstick to judge your comments by, perhaps you would kindly lay out your grand vision for the future

    1) in relation to Governance of the Twenty-Six Counties , of the Six Counties and of the Thirty Two- Counties, and

    I’d just as soon you didn’t.

  • Munsterview

    Comrade S. : “…I’d just as soon you didn’t….”

    But of course you would….. you support the Alliance elitist attitude that people have to have their thinking done for them !

    Alliance have been around for a while, a long, long while in fact, please remind me, what again after all these years is your party’s percentage of the vote is ?

    High time you lot listened as well as lectured, you might even find it instructive, but somehow I doubt it.

  • consul

    MV
    I’m loath to respond to you at all, but you insist. You’ve got this thing about FG and you want to link me to them. You are determined to style me as some kind of FG head as you did before. You attempt to suggest that Gay Mitchell is some kind of hero of mine, laughable. I set you straight once already but I might as well have been talking to the cat. I distinctly recall informing you on a previous occasion that I don’t have any truck with any party. I couldn’t have been clearer about it. There is one of two possibilities. Either a) you’re incapable of processing basic information, or b) you are deliberately misrepresenting me so you can have a pop. Either ways you’re a lightweight.

    You think I’m obliged to tell you all about me in some profile. You want me to tell you what you’re dealing with. You want to play the man but I will not facilitate you. Generally speaking you should deal with the posts, the author does not concern you.

    You want me to answer for the “Builders, Bankers and assorted Wankers , the white collar, corrupt criminals…” who left the place in a hoop, working hand in hand with parochial parish pump politicians. If you are waiting for me to defend that scum, I’m afraid it’s waiting you’ll be. I don’t want to discuss anything with you. I’m sorry I just cant take you seriously. You live in a world of make believe and frankly I don’t care for the tone of your posts.

    You’ve been described as a Walter Mitty type character by others here before. I’m going to be honest with you, that’s exactly what I thought before I ever read it. All of this talk about Security Forces watching you, laughable.

  • consul

    ‘MunsterView’
    All the ‘bitching’ is coming from your end.Incredible delusion. You don’t seem to have much else.


    as the good book says “Empty vessels make the most noise” and some things do not change.

    Finally some sense.

  • Munsterview

    Consul : as I said…. “..‘Consul’ I probably have more real political experience concerning the dirty underbelly of Irish Life under my belt from any one month of my life than somebody like you have for a whole lifetime….”

  • Drumlins Rock

    Thanks guys, must say I really appreciate your efforts into making the Union so much more attractive to us all!

  • sonofstrongbow

    Indeed DR.

    I always believed that banjo playing became more intense the further south you went. I expect it is a cacophony on the southern coastal fringe.

    My family ended its relationship with the twenty-six county satelet some eighty odd years ago. In retrospect what a lucky escape that was!

    Whereas I care little for the fact that the ‘Celtic Tiger’ has been shot, stuffed and mounted on the IMF’s wall I do find the dishonesty surrounding its demise amusing. To suggest that it was solely down to baddie bankers, property investors and look-the-other-way politicians is laughable. The ‘Plain People of Ireland’ were in the trough up to their snouts. Why I can even think of some ‘Republican Socialist Activists’ who are multiple house owners.

  • Munsterview

    Drumlin : do you think your average C of I outside of the border area gives a second thought to the severed Commonwealth link?

    There are a lot of positive and attractive traits in Irish Protestant ethos ( dislike of female bared breasts in barley fields aside) but can these be expressed other than through a UK Union ?

    Your Southern religious counterparts would give a resounding yes to that.

    The world has moved on. In the start of the 20th century history was seen through Empire and a Colonial prism. In the 21th, history is seen in Post Colonial terms where as I have said, a new generation are concentrating on the ravages and exploitation done to their respective countries more than on the dubious benefits of Colonialism, which if they were there, came at too high a cost paid with suppressed native cultures and generations of killings as in Ireland.

    Irish Protestantism however is different from many of the other Colonial experience in that while we too had a few right bastards historically, we too had from the Norman Invasion, certain families and individuals who left honorable, proud and progressive records behind them.

    It would seem Drumlin that the ball is in your court, do you take as your culture heroes those of Planter Stock that the majority on this Island can relate to as part of their progressive, positive heritage or do you relate only to those historical figures that the Majority Culture on this Island regard as oppressive and detest.

    When Bertie Ahern went to Downing street for the first time he vocificoursly objected to attending a meeting in a room that held a portrait of Cromwell as ‘he would not sit in the same room as that Bastard’ . For once he was not throwing shapes, that was a genuine visceral reaction that most of Nationalist Ireland could relate to.

    Drumlin, sensitivity, understanding and appreciation is a two way street, please do not forget that.

  • Munsterview

    sonofs.

    With that ‘holier than though’ attitude you should be up there on that infamous election poster alongside Dana.

    May I remind you that in the latter part of 19th century the Southern Land-owing Protestant Unionists families were a by word in Europe for blowing cash like confetti in the gaming tables of Monte Casino ect. All the more remarkable and noteworthy when they got this reputation among a then International ‘jet set’ Class that itself was notorious for extravagance and luxury spending.

    This Irish squandered money had been prized and sweated by rack-renting from the backs of one of the the most downtrodden peasantry and small farmer class in Europe and the financial extraction process was so complete that it left destitution, malnutrition and actual starvation in it’s wake.

    Your apparent ignorance of 19 cent, Irish history is matched by a similar lack of 20th, century understanding. When you castigate Southern Celtic squander mania you are obviously unaware that in the main banks with the exception of Anglo Irish, had a disproportionate share of Protestants in their top management elites. Indeed this was one of the driving forces behind Sean Fitzpatrick and some of his Anglo people, they had received one humiliation too many from this Protestant, Network, Masonic, elite closed circle.

    During the Celtic Tiger Era, this Elite networked through Banks, brokers, estate agencies, silent building partnerships etc ‘financially engineered’ packages, leveraged consortiums, ‘flipped sites’ many times etc. Every-time such a flip took place all involved collected their various, artificially contrived fees. The Builders were merely the most obvious culprits as ones left without a chair when the music stopped but there is a long line of ‘white collar’ enablers behind them well hidden and protected by their own class.

    The rot was from the top down. And while giving another hostage to fortune here with the yahoo chorus, I should know, at various times as a paralegal I had management and control over two multi million euro sites, one in the South and one in the Donegall while their legal affairs were sorted out. I was also involved with the legal affairs of another half dozen builders. I dealt with some of these Dublin 4 types across a table and know who and what they were.

    Sonof “…My family ended its relationship with the twenty-six county satelet some eighty odd years ago. In retrospect what a lucky escape that was!…”

    If you say so, if you say so son.

    Post Irish Independence and treaty many Senior British Army Officers, Many RIC that had been under arms against Republicans up to the ceasefire, many Crown Barristers and Solicitors who had prosecuted leading IRA people, were able to live on in the South un-intefered with. Some genuine Monarchists uprooted and went to the Six Counties.

    However others who had to leg it sharpish had such a lousy record of dirty dealing and duplicity against their Southern neighbours and their betrayel was such that they had no option but to put their tails between their legs and make a bolt across the border with their whole family under the cover of darkness. When it is a case of ‘the lady doth protest too much’ it could be helpfull to reflect as to what the reason may be !

    Given the circumstances you are not perhaps one of the most objective commentators on Southern affairs.

  • ayeYerMa

    Great post from Greenflag on genetics. Drumlin’s Rocks notion of an “romansque Celtic romansque type peoples” is nonsense. Perhaps this notion stems from the genetic research from a few years ago with a theory linking the “Celts” to the Basque region – this “Basque” theory is now generally considered insignificant or even wrong in later genetic studies. It is now though that people all over the archipelago generally have overwhelmingly more in common than not.

  • Reader

    Munsterview, surely it wasn’t inevitable that the Prods would bring about the demise of the Celtic Tiger? After all, with all of that skimming and conspicuous banking, the Prods could have easily been undercut by a Republican Bank, staffed exclusively by people on the average industrial wage.
    The proceeds of the Northern Bank heist could have been used to provide startup capital.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I Didn’t mention Dna, it is culture that distinguishes groups, a part of that might be in the DNA but that would be a minor element at best, most of the differences get passed on after birth/conception. Sorry I used the wrong word, meant romantic peoples, who still rougly follow those languages that fall into that group, or who did until recently.
    With regards the Norman “overclass” that ruled across the British Isles, they dipped into both cultures but also retained a difference that was little to do with wealth.

  • Munsterview

    Reader : “….Munsterview, surely it wasn’t inevitable that the Prods would bring about the demise of the Celtic Tiger? After all, with all of that skimming and conspicuous banking, the Prods could have easily been undercut by a Republican Bank, staffed exclusively by people on the average industrial wage……”

    If you could have disproved my comment re the religious / masonic make up of the Bankers and inner ‘Financial Engineering’ cabal, you of all people would have done so instead of resorting to what, when judged against the sagacity of your usual comments, is blatant inanity.

    Just like Wall Street or The Square Mile, the only real religion these people exhibited was untrammeled greed !

    Incidently one interesting example of a value system and Christian Ethic informing someone in public life may be found in the remarks and attitude of Mr Justice Kelly, High Court Judge, the scourge of the ‘ financial wide-boys’ and cowboy builders. He is a member of Opus Dei.

  • Munsterview

    Hi Mick, Open Letter

    I have been given a yellow card, for what I do not know !

    First off and I am not the only one annoyed over this, would you
    please work out some system where the specific offending post is
    given a star or the offending passage is underlined etc. to show all
    where the offence came about.

    You are not going to change anything with this blanket hit warning on
    all posts where there are no specifics. Could your monitor not at
    least cut and paste the offending passage and send it back to the
    poster with the notification of the warning.

    Best regards,

  • Reader

    Munsterview: If you could have disproved my comment re the religious / masonic make up of the Bankers and inner ‘Financial Engineering’ cabal, you of all people would have done so instead of resorting to what, when judged against the sagacity of your usual comments, is blatant inanity.
    I am not sure where I would begin. Here in the north, we have fair employment legislation and the requisite paperwork. But in the 26 counties, the only ethnic and religious monitoring seems to be performed by the Chuckies. So instead of all that vague finger pointing, how about you listing a few retrospectively identified dodgy institutions that have a Prod majority on the board? A sufficiently long list might leave me feeling sorry for all those poor wee developers with the worthless land banks and the half finished estates.

  • Greenflag

    @ ayeyerma ,

    ‘Great post from Greenflag on genetics. ‘

    I’m no geneticist and the information above is taken from Prof Brian Sykes of Oxford University whose data I quote above from his book ‘Saxons , Vikings and Celts ‘ .

    As to links with the Basques or as the Romans called them the Vascones -the ancestors of most of the peoples of Western Europe including Britain, Ireland , France , parts of Spain and Portugal, Western Germany and NW Europe can trace their origins back to the ice age refuge which was NE Spain (the Basque country ) some 12,000 years ago . This does not mean we are all descendants of the Basques but it’s not improbable that some would be. The ancestors of the people who became the Basques appear to have been resident in that area for more than 8,000 years . The geneticists believe so because among all Europeans the Basques are unusual in that their relative isolation and the ‘founder ‘ principle has left them with high percentage (16% plus) of the O Type Rhesus negative blood which is believed to have kept their population smaller than surrounding populations due to higher incidence of still births . The cure for this problem was not discovered until the 1930′s . For history buffs the Basques were to the forefront of much of the age of discovery in exploring and settling the new world.

    Other Europeans from Central Europe and Southern Europe can trace their ancestors back to the refuges found in either central Italy or the Balkans . Prior to having ‘fled for refuge to warmer climes the ancestors of all of these groups would have been the first ‘homo sapiens ‘ to have entered into Europe from the middle Eastern region some 35,000 years ago .

    As these peoples were nomadic hunters and gatherers their populations would have been small and groups would have become isolated leading to ‘genetic ‘ differentiation among them and climatic adaptations to cold conditions etc . they also would have ‘shared’ the continent with the ‘neanderthals ‘ for a period of overlap of some 10,000 years before the former became extinct .

    What languages these earliest peoples in Europe spoke nobody knows and the only real contact with those ancient languages is via the Basque language . For reasons which are not fully understood the vast majority of Europeans speak what are called indo european languages . The main exceptions being the Basques , the Finns and the Hungarians . Ironically these peoples have no major dissimilarities with other Europeans even though their spoken languages don’t fit into the broader indo european family of languages . How English developed as a lingua franca in Britain 400 AD to 1300 AD is a fascinating story . Alas its too far back and there are no records of how Irish Gaelic or Welsh became lingua francas in their own right even further back in history . The presumption in these casesa is that any new incoming group would have been seen as having some ‘advantageous ‘ cultural artefacts or agricultural pattern or technology which would have been ‘persuasive for the locals to follow . By the time the Romans left Britain in the mid 5th century the locals had become so thoroughly romanised in the political and material sense if not in the linguistic that they had become ‘soft ‘ and to defend themselves against inroads being made by Scots and Picts from the north and west they appealed to some Anglo Saxons for assistance . It’s probable that these Anglo Saxons were themselves being pushed west by events further to the east in Europe . 700 years later a cuckolded Irish provincial king appealed to the Norman King Henry II for similar assistance .

    The fact that people all over the archipelago and further afield in Europe have more in common than not does not of course alter the facts of political and social and economic history . Croatians and Serbs , Russians and Poles , Scots and English , English and Irish , French and English , Poles and Germans etc etc have all engaged in competitive warfare against each other including economic over the past millenium since they began to form nation states .

    What all the above has to do with modern politics is neither here nor there but it’s best to consign Victorian Age mythology to where it belongs .

  • Greenflag

    Drumlin’s rock .

    ‘romantic peoples ‘

    I understand that your average Italian or Spaniard is deemed in popular culture to be seen as more ‘romantically ‘inclined than his Irish or British counterpart but ‘romantic ‘peoples is not a term I’ve ever come across . Latin is probably a better term or Meditteranean . Neither is 100% but probably less offensive . I can imagine Czechs and Germans and Scots and Irish preferring to be lumped in or termed central or northern europeans instead of being called ‘drinking ‘peoples .
    One comment you made which I did’nt fully understand and maybe you can explain better was

    ‘With regards the Norman “overclass” that ruled across the British Isles, they dipped into both cultures but also retained a difference that was little to do with wealth.’

    What difference ?

    As I understand it the Norman motto be it in Normandy , Sicily, England or France or Wales or Ireland or Scotland was always

    ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be -just a taker ‘

    And they certainly took . The conquest of England 1066 was the most thorough of any in history up to that time .

    Although in relative terms I wonder how much it would compare with the present day ‘heist’ that the banksters have been and continue to indulge in while our ‘elected ‘ leaders are either asleep or looking the other way ?

  • Munsterview

    Reader : you are every bit as capable of looking up a register of Company Directors and Bank Boards as I am. I merely brought up this to begin with to take issue with another poster who blamed the Celtic Tiger excessed exclusively on Catholics / Nationalists /Republican Southern Greed.

    My point was that there was no particular religious affiliations at work here other than the religion of greed. The remarks I made about the Protestant / masonic networking at top management and director levels per se was not the issue here other than using this as an example to show that when it came to ‘flipping’ and other ‘quick buck’ quasi legal stunts “Protestant morality’ or more correctly the lack of same proved no different to Catholic deficits in that same area.

  • Greenflag

    sonofstrongbow,

    ‘My family ended its relationship with the twenty-six county statelet some eighty odd years ago. In retrospect what a lucky escape that was!’

    Only in your imagination . In actual numbers i.e facts the chances of actually losing your life or any of your family’s the numerical odds were over the ensuing 1918 to 2000 period much greater in Northern Ireland than in either the Free State or later the Republic .

    I don’t have access to any site with the actual numbers killed on all sides 1916 through 2000 . Of the total of 8,000 approx who lost their lives due to rebellion or civil war or the troubles in the period 1916 through 2000, about 25% of the total would have been from the territory now known as the Irish Republic and the other 75% or 6,000 from NI. So without even allowing for such factors as relative population size your survival chances were 3 times better in the Republic/Free State and when population is factored in somewhere between 8 and ten times better.

    When total deaths in both World Wars are taken into account those from NI probably also had a higher chance of not returning from the trenches although here the figures are more clouded because of the large number of Irish resident in mainland Britain at that time who were drafted.

    Overall people in Ireland -north and south can consider themsleves extremely lucky re their collective experience of war and conflict in Ireland in the 20th century. The total number of deaths in Ireland during that period don’t even get a mention in the big league of ‘mans inhumanity to man ‘ in the 20th century as in this link.

    http://www.necrometrics.com/20c5m.htm

    Could it have been much worse in Ireland than it was ? Most certainly . As to why it was’nt ? I guess we were just lucky we were’nt Poles or Russians or Germans or Armenians or Jews or Gypsies or any one of a hundred other ‘groups’ that get a mention in the 20th century ‘ Death League Championship table.

    Somewhat ironically the sequence for the 20th century begins with the Congo and Sir Roger Casement is noted .

    A century later the Congo (Democratic Republic of ) once again leads the lists in the march of death by conflict and the total number of deaths straddles the end and beginning of the new century with a figure of 5 million being the estimated total so far or more than double the present entire NI population.

    Will the 21st century be a repeat of the 20th ? If the forces of anarchic financial capitalism and plutocracy have their way you can be sure of it . The century has got off to a ‘good’ start with the Congo and who knows the total numbers now piling up in Iraq , Afghanistan , Sudan , North Africa , North Korea etc.

    As I said on another thread you can have either anarchic financial capitalism or democracy but not both at the same time which is exactly where the USA , UK and the largest western former democracies are right now and increasing numbers of their citizens are becoming only too aware that their politicians lie prostrated at the feet of international and national banksters across the world.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Greenflag,

    As a unionist my point was of course much wider than the statistical possibility of members of my family, or indeed my good self, falling victim to violent death. However looking at that subject on particular the statistics would have improved for survivability if Irish Republicans had kept their muskets in the thatch.

    Unionist culture in the South was destroyed. Setting to one side the sharpe end of that destruction, the pogroms against Protestants in places like Cork, the Republic became a cold house for the Protestant largely unionist community. This saw that community reduce whereas the Catholic population in the ‘Orange Statelet’ actually increased in the same period.

    I can well remember as a young boy going into the West with my grandfather and being shown the Church of Ireland his family attended for many years. The church was little used if not already derelict.

    Interestingly you reference peoples in conflict from Armenia to the Congo and you are correct to say that their experiences were truly terrible; and much so than anything that happened in Ireland, North or South. However it does beg the question: how can Irish Republicans still lay claim to the MOPE title?

    Finally spare me the utopian socialist keening. We live in a consumer society where those that can will strive for wealth. The democratic checks and balances on the unscrupulous will always need to be developed and renewed along with the protections for the weak and vulnerable. But please ‘bankster’ is a placard slogan welded by students; although they have the excuse that will grow up and put away their childish ways.

  • Greenflag

    @ sonofstrongbow,

    ‘Unionist culture in the South was destroyed. ‘

    You mean unionist ‘political ‘culture was destroyed . In fact it became irrelevant in the aftermath of 1922 a point which is brought out in detail by Marcus Tanner in his ‘Ireland’s Holy Wars ‘ .

    I don’t doubt that parts of the then Free State became a cold house for unionists . For large numbers on the Republican side it also became a cold house when the Free State government emerged following the Civil War .

    The beginning of the end for Southern unionism did not start in 1920 or even in 1890 . It began in the aftermath of the Famine and the ‘disestablishment of the COI ‘ and the economic depression of the 1870′s which saw ‘large’ estates everywhere in Britain and Ireland become economically marginal as much cheaper foods could be imported from the ‘colonies ‘ and the USA .
    The failure to pass the Home Rule Act was another milestone in the demise of the Southern Unionist Community . The Unionist population in Ireland generally was divided on the issue of Home Rule with many liberal unionists favouring it . In the end World War I and the ‘unionist ‘ ‘economic ‘ position won out which resulted in Partition which was not favoured by Southern unionists . So in effect southern Cork & Dublin among other unionists were to put it crudely sold out by their northern fellow unionists as were unionists in Cavan , Donegal and Monaghan and as no doubt if push ever comes to shove so too will the ‘southern and western ‘unionists ‘ in NI today in Fermanagh ,Tyrone , Derry , Armagh , and parts of Down and Antrim .

    ‘ how can Irish Republicans still lay claim to the MOPE title?’

    A good question and the answer is that it makes for good politics and reduce the ‘intellectual ‘ demand of having to come with seriously practical economic or social policies that would move the country forward . This should not surprise any unionist as for the better part of 50 years several successive ‘unionist ‘one party governments got away with ‘misgovernance ‘ by discriminating against one half of the population in order to maintain the abject political allegiance of the other 60% .

    Of course if you knew your Irish history sorry British history in depth you would understand that it took until the 1870′s and the Land League reforms for Irish people (yes including many then unionists in Ulster ) to be granted the privilige of being permitted to buy their own land .

    ‘spare me the utopian socialist keening.’

    Just like the one eyed seemingly MV I have to refer you to my profile which states explicitly my political preference.

    I am not a Utopian .And my politics are on the broad spectrum centre left . I don’t call myself a socialist although like yourself I am in favour of governmental control being necessary to rein in the lunatic fringes of anarchic financial capitalism . I’m sorry if the term ‘bankster ‘ offends but it’s becoming common currency no pun intended by english speaking peoples all over the world .

    As to Ireland , Iceland , Greece and indeed California and Germany all got to be where they are today following the last decade of financial destruction I refer you to Michael Lewis’s latest book ‘Boomerang ‘ which I will link to on the Euro thread a little later this evening .

    It should be recommended reading for Alias and others who continue to maintain that Ireland’s current economic problem is due solely to the Euro. The truth as always even for the Greeks and Germans goes back to Wall St and the City .

    While you have my sympathy re your particular family’s suffering at the time of the War of independence -thats what happens in war and conflict everywhere . While some may like to think that Queensberry Rules should apply sadly they don’t not in all cases anyway and such is our often weak human nature that conflict and war has the capacity to bring out both the worst and best in our natures and that holds no matter on which side of any border you happen to be .

  • Greenflag

    As an addendum re ‘socialism ‘

    You do realise that the worlds biggest ‘socialists ‘ are to be found in the worlds biggest and most endangered banks . For having made poor -many would say self serving and over greedy investments around the world and seen these investments implode they did not like all ‘good capitalists ‘ should do i.e fall on their own swords and start off again from scratch .

    Not at all -the ‘banksters’ one and all ran to government to demand that they be saved and given another chance to do the same again at taxpayers expense . Unfortunately from Washington DC to London to Berlin and Dublin and Paris the ‘socialist ‘ banksters demands were met and are being met on the backs of taxpayers everybody .

    Which in itself would be ‘acceptable ‘ given that some complicity in allowing the situation to develop to this crisis stage can be leveled fairly at many of the politicians who were in power prior to and during this crisis and at many consumers who took on or were hoodwinked into taking on debt they could not afford etc .

    But what makes the current situation even worse than the above is that 4 years later western governments have still not taken the actions required to prevent another recession or to prevent growing public disquiet over their collective failures to manifest itself on the streets of cities everywhere .

  • JoeBryce

    Greenflag, just looked at your truly horrifying necromatics link, and I think everyone else should too. Sobering. And I share your apprehensions about the potentially apocalyptic consequences of the loss of democratic control over the financial sector. Truly the differences betwen north and south melt away to irrelevance in these larger perspectives.