Sinn Fein and the permanent process

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Declan Kearney has been at it again, this time in Westminster. Alex Kane is out quickly in the News Letter today, rounding on Kearney:

“Here’s my other difficulty with Sinn Fein’s reconciliation project: described by Mr Kearney as “calling for an all-inclusive national discussion on reconciliation leading to the development of a national reconciliation strategy”.

By ‘national reconciliation’ Sinn Fein means a united Ireland. Fine and dandy – that remains their end goal. But it is not the end goal of unionism, so I don’t see how mainstream unionism and Sinn Fein can construct a reconciliation process based on mutually contradictory end goals.

Sinn Fein has actually acknowledged this, which is why both Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have spoken of the need to persuade just ‘a section of unionism.”

Herein lies the rub. The only way Kearney’s speech could be regarded as breaking new ground would be if it involved some new acknowledgment on the part of republicans, the moving of a key chess piece. Instead, the opening section focused on colonialism and the ‘Orange state’ as the sole conditions for conflict in Northern Ireland.

This analysis simply re-states longheld Republican dogma; the last major shift on the part of the Republican movement, towards an acceptance of the principle of consent, required SDLP and Irish government cover . There were no Adams-esque hints within this speech, nor any sign of backers from within broader nationalism, but rather the fantasy politics of calling for a border poll and the abolition of the NIO.

In a sense, this is because Sinn Fein sees all politics as a form of protracted negotiation, a “process” of continuing speed and momentum, only partly interrupted by blips and short-term concession. Thus, we see an attempt to perpetuate the ‘peace process’ and a definition of reconciliation as the eventuality of a single Irish state, rather than a shared community within Northern Ireland first and foremost.

The difficulty is that, in calling for a border poll and conflating constitutional change with internal relationships within Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein only serve to highlight how far from their goal they actually remain. Recent spats with the DUP seem to be each party re-assuring their voting base they aren’t too fond of the other and intend to keep them in check- but this politics of mutually assured restriction is not the ‘process’ politics Sinn Fein requires if it is to avoid difficult questions about the viability of its project.

Without the political fuel of martyrs or fuming unionist politicians, Sinn Fein appears trapped in the mundane politics of the everyday. In a reverse of Ron Davies’ maxim, devolution is looking more like an event than a process, something unsettling to Sinn Fein hopes, a point Brian notes in that they seem to be moving to a ‘Devo Max’ first approach.

Interestingly, it is the Irish Republic where the battle for the soul of Irish Republicanism appears to have shifted, enmeshed in the politics of economic breakdown and electoral volatility. Reconciliation with Fianna Fáil looks unlikely!

  • Ruarai

    One small point BT:

    “In a sense, this is because Sinn Fein sees all politics as a form of protracted negotiation, a “process” of continuing speed and momentum, only partly interrupted by blips and short-term concession.”

    Politics is indeed a permanent process, pretty much along the lines of your sentence above. Nothing controversial there.

    By all means critique Sinn Fein or anyone else who makes any claims about “inevitable” or “natural” outcomes in politics – such claims are BS.

    But we would all benefit from 2 things:

    1. Sf-ers not claiming that the political process is somehow wired or ‘destined’ to end in a UI. This does the cause of critical thinking within their own ranks no good and does the cause of reconciliation with their opponents and neighbours great harm, coming across as quite sinister and threatening. Why, afterall, would anyone engage in or embrace a rigged process?

    2. Unionists relaxing a bit about that fact that while there is no inevitability about a UI, nor is there any permanency about the status quo. (In fairness, many now do, I think.) Yes, the status quo as of 1998 may well be a very long-lasting state of affairs evolving more by degrees than changing by type, who knows?

    But we’d all enjoy and benefit from a healthier polity if pretensions to permanency or inevitability on all sides are replaced with an acceptance that the only thing assured is that change, should it come, will come via consent rather than coerction.

  • Charlie Sheens PR guru

    Interesting how this spat has developed into a ‘border poll’ article on the BBC based on Kearney and Donaldson’s exchange on the Sunday Politcs. On that show he quoted the published life and times poll on a united ireland. If we’re now in the business of believing unscientific BT polls over what party people actually vote for in the voting booth over a course of decades, then why not publish the two recent polls that the BT have also enjoyed presenting. One was ‘is Enda Kenny right about a united ireland being inevitable’ and the other was ‘should there be a border poll’. Interesting results..

    There is an important point in all of this which SF are too thick to articulate.

    For the GFA to mean anything the border poll obviously must be granted at some point. I guess most people here presume that means when a future assembly has more nationalsits than unionists. But it still must happen. If the DUP are so sure of win, then I actually think they’d be the first people to encourage it and wave a 93% No 7% Yes result in front of SF’s face every time they mentioned a united ireland in public.

    The other side to this is that, some unionists actually believe that the GFA was about nationalists leaving their aspirations behind for a seat at stormont.

    If this view is more widely held then it risks dissidents saying: “There you are ppl, SF, SDLP, FF, FG, everyone
    duped into thinking that they’d get a referendum” It would making the Good Friday Agreement into the Good Friday Sellout and we’d risk going back to square one, with each blaming the other for not sticking to their part of the bargain.

  • Better Together

    Charlie

    The reason is that the agreement says that the SoS will only call a border poll when it appears likely that a majority support a change. The issue that dissidents have is not about border polls, it is about the fact that such a poll will be determined within NI.

    Ruari

    I meant to say that SF interpreted progress towards a certain defined goal as intrinsic to their politics. Given the mechanisms for such a process appear at least indefinitely stalled, this poses a problem for the gap between rhetoric and reality.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Guru,

    Just a little point. Although polls may show 93% in favour of the union, and may indeed represent people’s true feelings, there will be nowhere near such a vote in a border poll. Why? One word – thranness.

  • Pete Baker

    Better Together

    The issue that dissidents have is not about border polls, it is about the fact that such a poll will be determined within NI.

    Not just ‘dissidents’, apparently…

    Given the mechanisms for such a process appear at least indefinitely stalled, this poses a problem for the gap between rhetoric and reality.

    Indeed.

  • weidm7

    There’ll be two to three types of voters on a border poll, one are the tribalists, SF aren’t going to convince them with this rhetoric, in fairness it may be impossible altogether to convince them. I think the best way, which may also be impossible, would be to make it seem like their interests (e.g. parading) would be best served in a united Ireland, so they should play on cultural issues, play the Ulster Scots culture as an Irish identity and publicly support for example peaceful, respectful marches, get public money to repaint lodges, etc. This may be impossible without losing traditional votes. Main point: current rhetoric won’t convince them.

    Others will vote on the economy. This is perhaps out of SF’s hands, they’ll need the Southern economy to re-bound, perhaps if they played themselves as trying to bring in sensible economic policies but having their hands tied by the DUP or London, but the rhetoric above won’t convince these voters, it’s the same old rhetoric we’ve heard, dressed up in politer language and not talking about prisoners anymore.

    Still more will be pale orange, they wouldn’t go marching but if given the choice, they’d probably go for the union just cause its safe and its the status quo and sure they’re not that different really. These, like those before, won’t be convinced by SF’s rhetoric and will this SF-DUP fued as the latest in petty squabbling about something or other they don’t care about. A possible strategy would be for SF to promote Irish language, music and culture in middle class protestant areas, gaelscoils, lessons, etc, play up all-Ireland protestant-associated organisations like The Orange Order (less so), Irish cricket, hockey, rugby and anything else out there. They’ll start to reclaim their Irish identity and perhaps start to think ‘why are we Irish divided in two?’

    Anyway, these latest speeches are only going against themselves if their true goal is a united Ireland. A more pertinent question might be: Can Sinn Fein step away from their current actions and embrace a forward-thinking approach which wont just harden current loyalties but might some people to re-think their stance?

    This nonsense about cow-towing to every unionist demand ever made is rubbish. It would go against everything SF and right-thinking nationalists believe and why should nationalists make all the concessions and not unionists? Making concessions to unionists (or cow-towing as I call it) and building support for a UI are not the same, similarly not making concessions and building support aren’t mutually exclusive.

  • Reader

    wiedm7: Making concessions to unionists (or cow-towing as I call it) and building support for a UI are not the same, similarly not making concessions and building support aren’t mutually exclusive.
    But all of your practical proposals *are* concessions, at least so far as SF core support would see it. The proposals involve a broadening of Irishness so that it might include rather than exclude cultural unionists.
    Some purist republicans may feel that price is too high to pay, others that the payoff is too slight and too slow – decades.
    Best just to stick to the grave side orations and hunger strike marches that have paid off so well to date…

  • Alan N/Ards

    If SF are really genuine about a united island of Ireland then they need to leave the persuading to the people who didn’t resort to murder to try and unify the island.

    Do they want to unite the landmass or the people?

  • Better Together

    Pete

    Absolutely. It is the Clonard re-formulation of self-determination, two simultaneous referendums, a cover to disguise the fact that the “unionist veto” remains. I don’t think it is fooling all that many nowadays.

  • Congal Claen

    In a little under 2 years Scotland will vote as to whether he/she remains in the UK. Not a bullet has been fired. If Scotland does decide to leave I’m guessing those that voted against independence won’t be resorting to the gun either.

    There is no prospect of Ireland being unified anytime soon. I think the lesson that extreme nationalists should learn from this is that possibly terrorism was not the way to go about things. However, still the gunmen are lauded by all flavours of nationalism. When Collins, Brugha, etc are disowned is the day you’ve a chance at reconcilliation with unionists.

    Oh and stop claiming to be republicans. True republicans wouldn’t be upholding the current educational apartheid, under the guise of freedom of choice, for the last absolute monarch in Europe.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    If the shinners want to persuade working class Unionists, the Loyal Orders, Loyalist Bands culture and those many tens of thousands that support and follow the same. One way to dissuade these sections of Unionism and Loyalism is to encourage and foster conflict and protests at parades.
    To demonise this part of Unionist and Loyalist culture will only entrench division.

  • ayeYerMa

    Charlie Sheen’s PR Guru:
    If we’re now in the business of believing unscientific BT polls over what party people actually vote for in the voting booth over acourse of decades, then why not publish the two recent polls that the BT have also enjoyed presenting.

    What a laughable comment! I’m guessing you failed maths at school if you can’t see the difference between random sampling used repeatedly in NILT polls, and a poll placed onto the Belfast Telegraph website for the zealous cyber-Republicans to campaign around.

    As for “what party people actually vote for in the voting booth over acourse of decades”, I think you’ll find that that has been consistently Unionist, despite parties campaigning on a variety of issues.

  • tacapall

    AU theres another way of sorting that problem too, dont be engaging in behaviour that is offensive to the local community you wish to parade through. If you wish the nationalist and catholic community to accept your culture you should take your own advice and accept theirs, if Unionists cannot accept green coloured shamrock and the flying of a Tricolour at a St Patricks day parade then why should they put up with or accept millions of pounds of taxpayers money being wasted on yours.

  • JoeBryce

    Where’s the harm in unionism setting out its demands for a new Ireland? i.e. what would have to change. New flag, new constitution, entrenched separation of church & state, perhaps return to the Commonwealth, northern autonomy with permanent consocialism and perhaps a reunited (i.e. 9 county) Ulster. Or whatever else is on your shopping list. If republicans are serious, then we have a genuine choice, which may or may not be exercised. If they won’t enter into such discussion, then we know they aren’t serious. Either way it seems to me it’s gain / gain. The last 40 years the lion’s share of concession has been by unionists, all of it necessary I would argue, but maybe it’s time for the other tradition to think how it now needs to change.

  • tacapall

    “The last 40 years the lion’s share of concession has been by unionists”

    Joe what concessions have Unionism made to Nationalists that they did not already have themselves ?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Tac, in case the post has past you by, the shinners that are the ones who are and need to persuade Unionists, Loyal Orders and Bands people. If they keep demonising their culture is not the best starting point.

    And taking into account the way the Unionists and Loyal Orders were treated after partition in the Free State and republic the shinners are not showing a very progressive attitude to that part of Unionism and its parading culture. But that is the shinners for you.

    Obviously the shinners and their community are not as confident as they try to portray themselves.

    The shinner long war goes on. “Chucke ar da”!

  • tacapall

    AU the Shinners really dont need to persuade anyone of anything, loyalist culture is doing that for them. The enormous cost to the taxpayer of the loyalist bonfire culture, plus, is it 3000 parades a year, regardless of whether there is protests at those parades, they still have to be policed, do you honestly think that is the way its going to be forever ?

    So what way were the Loyal orders treated after partition ? As far as I know theres Loyal Order parades in the 26 counties every year without incident.

  • Reader

    JoeBryce: If you wish the nationalist and catholic community to accept your culture you should take your own advice and accept theirs, if Unionists cannot accept green coloured shamrock and the flying of a Tricolour at a St Patricks day parade then why should they put up with or accept millions of pounds of taxpayers money being wasted on yours.
    St Patrick is part of out common heritage, and it is presumptious – and counter-productive – to claim him as exclusively yours. Yet that seems to underlie much of the nationalist attitude to him.
    So far as I recall, the multi coloured shamrock was a unilateral intiative by a nationalist dominated committee and can’t be blamed on unionists as a bloc, even if you can point to some buck eejit straw man. The Queen gives out (green) shamrock to Irish Regiments every year, and I am sure we can handle that fact.
    As for the Tricolour – see ‘common heritage’ above. However, there are plenty of exclusively Republican or Nationalist events – e.g. GAA matches – where the Tricolour is part of the pageantry on display. Some of those organisations and events receive public money.

  • Reader

    Oops sorry – my last remark should have been in reply to tacapall.

  • Neil

    AU theres another way of sorting that problem too, dont be engaging in behaviour that is offensive to the local community you wish to parade through.

    Good luck with that…

    Obviously the shinners and their community are not as confident as they try to portray themselves.

    Confident enough to want a border poll. Unionists, who seem very, very confident in light of surveys that show support for a UI is supposedly negligible (though it shows SF support at a similarly paltry figure) seem petrified at the notion. But why do Unionists seem so terrified of a border poll given their stated confidence of the result? If a border poll confirmed the sacred NILT survey then a UI would be off the cards for the foreseeable.

    I also asked on another thread, I’ve seen a number of attempts at ‘outreach’ by the shinners, including at least two occasions where they recently have lobbied for the OO for funding. They then talk about reconciliation and Unionism collectively responds ‘fuck off’ to the shinners (and by extension about two thirds of the voting Nationalists out there).

    When did your leaders show any kind of ‘outreach’? Seriously? Sure we’ve had speeches about unicorns reported in the tele, but the on the ground efforts have been to suggest ‘civil disobedience’ or as it’s otherwise known, breaking the law in the few instances the OO isn’t allowed to do what it wants. Unionist outreach has yet to start. At least the shinners have attempted to work outside their own wee box a little bit.

  • tacapall

    Reader who said St Patricks day was exclusively Catholic and Nationalist but he is the patron saint of Ireland, all Ireland that is and the majority of people from the culture that celebrate St Patricks day are nationalist and consider themselves Irish hence the Tricolour and shamrock. No different than those Loyalists and Unionists at their very own St Patricks day parade in Armagh where I saw loads of Union Jacks being displayed.

    The 12th of July is a public funded event and as far as I know Protestant and Catholics died on opposing sides but I have to be honest I’ve never seen anything remotely resembling that Catholic culture at any 12th July parade.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    What can I say people taking offence at a church parade, well there you go more MOPE’ry.

  • tacapall

    AU why do Orangemen need swords in a church parade ?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Was there swords at the parade yesterday???

    Why do the protesters bring hunger strike black flags to a church protest????

  • tacapall

    “Was there swords at the parade yesterday”

    Dont know I wasn’t there but I have seen them at those church parades you refer to, aren’t the 12th of July parades religious parades ?

    “Why do the protesters bring hunger strike black flags to a church protest”

    Does it say on them hunger strike flags or is that just your interpretation ?

  • galloglaigh

    AU

    No one is taking offence at the parade in itself. The residents and parishioners of the area around St. Patrick’s weren’t opposed to the parade, but the antics of a terrorist band. It’s those taking part in sectarian act’s, such as playing racist songs outside places of worship, that cause offence. That and over 100 years of similar acts, is why people are offended by ‘Loyal Order’ parades’.

    Political unionism’s attachment, and defence these offensive acts, shows who has ‘grown up’, and those who haven’t. It is after-all the 21st Century, and not the end of the 17th.

  • Reader

    tacapall: No different than those Loyalists and Unionists at their very own St Patricks day parade in Armagh where I saw loads of Union Jacks being displayed.
    Were you in Armagh in time to see all three parades? What did you see in the *first* parade?
    And whenever and wherever the Hibernians parade on St Patrick’s day, there are Tricolours and no Union flags.
    But in a cross-community parade, such as for instance, the Belfast parade, or the second parade in Armagh, we shouldn’t expect to see either flag. And can you think of a good reason why the Belfast parade should *not* be a cross-community parade?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Tac “Dont know I wasn’t there” yet you make a claim there was swards at the parade then when challenged you don’t know.

    Man oh man.

    gall, I thought we were talking about the church parade on Sunday??? And you have proof they are a “terrorist band”? Just using the republican Gerry Adams test here no proof no guilt, isn’t that right????

    Gall, its the people who take part and celebrate the events of the 17th century that the shinners need to convince the merits of a UI.

    However the Loyal Orders need only look a wee bit closer in time, to the events of the 20th century to see their culture was almost eradicated in the free state and republic, having to meet in secret. And in recent weeks Glenavy Orange Hall was attacked again, only one among many.

    Somehow I don’t think the members of the Unionist, Loyal Orders, Bands and their supporters are not being convinced of the merits of a UI by the shinners, just like the majority of Unionists, but that is their problem. Hearts and Minds, hearts and minds…

  • tacapall

    And can you think of a good reason why the Belfast parade should *not* be a cross-community parade?

    Reader I cant think of any reason why it shouldn’t be a cross community parade anymore than I think why the Catholic culture and their contribution at the battle of the Boyne isn’t recognised at the 12th of July parades.

    Can you think of a reason why the 12th of July parades should only be about Protestant culture, after all it is a public holiday and receives public funding that is payed by all sections of the community.

  • tacapall

    AU why dont you answer the question rather than engage in fancy footwork avoiding the question, where did I say there was swords at Sundays parade ?

    “AU why do Orangemen need swords in a church parade”

  • Reader

    tacapall: Reader I cant think of any reason why it shouldn’t be a cross community parade anymore than I think why the Catholic culture and their contribution at the battle of the Boyne isn’t recognised at the 12th of July parades.
    Actually that’s an interesting notion. Though it’s the Orange Order that has taken the lead in celebrating the glorious revolution (and they are religiously exclusive), there is scope for nationalist contribution. It would be classy to go Scarva, for instance. But I suspect the real problem is that nationalists wouldn’t pick *either* side these days: not having been impressed with James while he was here; absolute monarchs being unfashionable; and that being the losing side in any case.
    tacapall: Can you think of a reason why the 12th of July parades should only be about Protestant culture, after all it is a public holiday and receives public funding that is payed by all sections of the community.
    The funding is relatively small, and I haven’t noticed nationalists boycotting the *holiday*. Since the anniversary aspect has no appeal, you could always spend the day in celebrations of nationalist history and culture. With a positive attitude and a bit of ingenuity you could get some funding yourselves. Especially if you could find a way to stop the Lurgan spides turning up at the Ardoyne shops.

  • galloglaigh

    In fairness, the only people Sinn Fein, or any other nationalist group or organisation has to convince, is their own ‘flock’. If and when a vote comes about, and if and when people vote for unity, it will be the democratic right of the people. Unionism will have to take its oil. But Sinn Fein seem bigger than that. They are reaching out, while unionism is reaching out, and sticking two fingers up at their fellow Christians.

  • tacapall

    “Actually that’s an interesting notion. Though it’s the Orange Order that has taken the lead in celebrating the glorious revolution (and they are religiously exclusive)”

    So why cant the same rules apply to St Patricks day parades and why is it not a national holiday in this part of ireland. If the Orange order can take the lead and dismiss the contributions of Catholics at the battle of the Boyne where they actually fought under the Union Jack. Why cant Nationalists take the lead and dismiss the Unionist objections at St Patricks day parades.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “AU why do Orangemen need swords in a church parade”

    I don’t know the answer to your question, tacapal, but it may well date to military ceremonial activities which predate the formation of the OO (1795):

    A couple of years later, at the opening and first mass on 30 May 1784, the mostly Presbyterian 1st Belfast Volunteer Company paraded to the chapel yard and gave the parish priest a guard of honour, with many of the Protestants of Belfast also present and sharing the event.

  • http://www.openunionism.com oneill

    Knowing the DUP strategists, I am reasonably confident they know what they are doing in kicking the Border Poll into touch. However, if I had been them I had would have played a different tact, ie demanding SF follow the Belfast Agreement.

    Is there likely to be a majority voting in favour of “Unity”?
    Really? If so, then the onus is on SF to prove it.

    Everyone, to the relief of almost everyone (including not only the ROI’s government but also SF) know that there is absolutely no proof of that majority.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Now there is something I did not know, the shinners are a Christian party. I wonder what the victims of their terror thinks??? Theres me thinking that with their Marxist dogma they were a non faith party???

    And the only people the shinners need to convince are their own flock (strange use of words). I thought to get their land of milk and honey, they needed to convince a sizeable proportion of the Unionist Loyalist community. Or is the strategy to out populate Unionists. Next thing we will see on the walls of west belfast “keep the rhythm and don’t back out” and “This is a condom free zone”!!!!

  • Covenanter

    “In fairness, the only people Sinn Fein, or any other nationalist group or organisation has to convince, is their own ‘flock’. If and when a vote comes about, and if and when people vote for unity, it will be the democratic right of the people. Unionism will have to take its oil. But Sinn Fein seem bigger than that. They are reaching out, while unionism is reaching out, and sticking two fingers up at their fellow Christians.”

    If you think that the Sinners are ‘reaching out’ because they are being ‘big’ then you are seriousy delusional. The Sinner ‘unionist outreach’ programe is all about simple maths. Unionists outnumber republicans and the Sinners think that if they can convince a large enough number of unionists to vote for a united Ireland then they will get one.

    The fact that their efforts are cack handed and laughable do not detract from what they think they can achieve. Nor does the fact that they think they can reach out to unionists whilst dumping on their culture at every single litte opportunity to do so. Nor indeed does the fact that their drones pop up on the internet boasting that unionists will ‘have to take their oil’.

    I suspect that it may have more to do with convincing their redundant pot bellied stormtroopers (and more importantly their grandchildren) that they are actively pursuing efforts at creating a united Ireland than in actually doing so.

  • Reader

    tacapall : So why cant the same rules apply to St Patricks day parades and why is it not a national holiday in this part of ireland. If the Orange order can take the lead and dismiss the contributions of Catholics at the battle of the Boyne where they actually fought under the Union Jack. Why cant Nationalists take the lead and dismiss the Unionist objections at St Patricks day parades.
    The OO can’t hijack the Battle of the Boyne celebrations – If you want to have your own celebrations then go ahead. You do have the day off, after all, and there are plenty of alternative routes, so I’m told.
    Similarly, Prods could celebrate the Easter Rising without being able to join the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
    By the way, if you are looking for a parallel with July 12th, then the Easter Rising is a reasonable option. You already have a couple of days off and there’s plenty of marching.
    However, no-one is stopping you from having Nationalist versions of St Patrick’s day celebrations – for instance, all the Tricolours in the morning parade in Armagh this year, just as there were Union Flags in the evening band parade. But the *afternoon* parade was a cross-community event. I really don’t see why you so bitterly resent the existence of such a thing. Don’t you want unionists to share the celebrations of the life of Saint Patrick? Isn’t the existence of a cross-community event a good thing, even if it’s not something you personally want to be part of?
    As for turning Saint Patrick’s day from a Bank Holiday into a Public Holiday, that’s OK by me, though I get the day off anyway, along with a load of other wage slaves. And so does a large proportion of the public sector. It may be something that SF and the DUP can agree on, since they are cravenly populist parties.

  • Charlie Sheens PR guru

    ayeYerMa,

    Actually, I got an A in A-Level Maths including 100% in statistics, now finishing a PhD thesis in laser physics. How did you do exactly?

    We have no idea how many are sampled online sure. The sample in this BT survey was what, about a thousand? Whoopty f*cking do. The last election, low turnout as it was, produced a sample of ~650,000 of peopling voting without a someone shoving a clipboard in their face.

    Face the reality, that one survey, as much of an outlier of a datapoint as anyone has ever heard of here, is all you have to cling on to, when faced with the reality that the unionist vote is sinking fast…

  • Covenanter

    Well if the unionist vote is shrinking fast (and this means an imminent united Ireland) then what is all the republican agitation about?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Shinner agitation is about street politics. They are hopeless at real politics at Stormont, the DUP are running rings around them. So the shinners revert to what they do best keep their politicking at street level.

  • tacapall

    “I really don’t see why you so bitterly resent the existence of such a thing. Don’t you want unionists to share the celebrations of the life of Saint Patrick? Isn’t the existence of a cross-community event a good thing, even if it’s not something you personally want to be part of”

    Reader act your age “Bitterly resent” you really are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Come back to me when you want to engage in a normal conversation without acting in a disrespectful and assumptious manner

  • galloglaigh

    Ye see Mick, there goes the twisting I’m talking about, and not a dickie bird.

    Who said the Shinners were Christian?

    And in fairness it’s the Shinners who are running rings around the DUP. What happened to no terrorists in government. Not only are they in government, they share joint power with Sinn Fein. The mask is slipping on unionism, and they’re reverting back to ways of old.

    And the above is no advocation before it’s suggested. It’s reality, and a reality a lot of people should realise,

  • Reader

    tacapall: Reader act your age “Bitterly resent” you really are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. Come back to me when you want to engage in a normal conversation without acting in a disrespectful and assumptious manner
    Well then, can we start again?
    I have pointed out to you that there were three Saint Patrick’s parades in Armagh this year, one nationalist, one cross-community, and one unionist. Can you confirm if you still have any objection to the above, and if so, what is it?

  • Reader

    Charlie Sheen’s PR Guru: We have no idea how many are sampled online sure.
    The problem with online surveys is that the participants are self selecting.
    The problem with face to face surveys is that people get embarrassed about whether voting for a nasty party is a bit of a faux pas.
    The problem with voting is that it’s a bit of an effort to turn up at the polling station with your polling card and ID; hence the low turnout. Also that you tend to get asked one boring question instead of a load of interesting questions.
    However, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with a sample size of 1000, which should produce a pretty small error even in a close two way split [sqrt(np(1-p))]. The problems start when you have lots of options on your multiple choice questions.

  • Covenanter

    “And in fairness it’s the Shinners who are running rings around the DUP. What happened to no terrorists in government. Not only are they in government, they share joint power with Sinn Fein. The mask is slipping on unionism, and they’re reverting back to ways of old.”

    So the Sinners cunningly fooled unionists into having Irish republicans surrender all of their weapons before assisting them in administrating British rule in Northern Ireland.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    “What happened to no terrorists in government. Not only are they in government, they share joint power with Sinn Fein”.

    So there we have it confirmed the shinners are terrorists.

  • galloglaigh

    Read that again AU, I’ve just caught you out there :)

  • galloglaigh

    The Lodger

    Who said anything about surrender? Remember the cry ‘no surrender’? The battle goes on; the battle goes on and on!

    It’s inevitable :)

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    So it is a long war that republicans are engaged in galloglaigh!!!! Not so sure on the inevitable end you’re so sure about.

    Again you are confirming suspicions long held by Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist family.

  • Donal Davoren

    http://www.belfastdaily.co.uk/2012/11/01/exclusive-top-provo-enforcer-arrested-over-robert-mccartney-murder/

    Padraig Wilson who was previously involved in the IRA training the Farc for drug money has yet again been charged. the thing is his licence wasn’t revoked then, nor for the recent case of membership. Now this.

  • Donal Davoren
  • Toastedpuffin

    I can’t help but wonder what’s the backstory here. Is it considered safe to pursue Republican royalty again? Beardy must be brickin’ it…

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Five senior republicans arrested for alleged IRA membership, 2 murders in a week by republicans, one of the victims a prison officer a devoted family man, Presbyterian church member and attender and Loyal Order member, the other murder related to republican drugs and criminality, now Padraic Wilson a leading shinner arrested for alleged involvement in the murder of 2005 Robert McCartney and slugger doesn’t have a thread on these issues???

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20175429

    http://www.u.tv/News/Man-charged-with-IRA-membership/244af748-e0cc-40e8-b141-5b4b1e699bc5

    No doubt if that had been a Loyalist band playing outside an empty building there would have been at least several threads all running at the same time on the band.

  • Donal Davoren

    It seems this Wilson boy was involved in some very dirty dealings including training those involved in the international drugs trade. Not surprising then that was involved in a ghastly murder among other things.

  • Neil

    AU,

    and slugger doesn’t have a thread on these issues???

    Well, actually a couple of threads on the topic of the Five senior republicans arrested for alleged IRA membership, and two of the remaining three stories have emerged in the past 12 hours, so that’s a bit mopish. Give it some time. The remaining story regarding the murder of a Republican paramilitary by a drug dealer in Dublin has passed us by but it’s hardly unique for that to happen, given how stories closer to home go unmentioned.

    If we wanted to we could easily play the whole how many threads have there been on UVF feuds in Antrim, or threads regarding the departmental rows over Red Sky and the Housing Executive mentioned in the detail. But that would be an utterly pointless waste of time. Then I couldn’t sneer at all the ‘Slugger’s a haven dominated by Catholics/Protestants’ posts that appear all the time.

    I would personally wager a significant amount of money that the stories that emerged in the past 12 hours will make a thread. Name your price.

  • Toastedpuffin

    “Seamus ‘Niker Max’ Finucane”

    “Terry ‘Tight Trunk’ Davison”

    “Jim ‘Dim’ McCormick”….

    “Padraic Wilson”

    Plain old Padraic Wilson. They couldn’t be arsed giving him a nickname. That’s gotta hurt a bhoy.

  • Politico68

    The British will not call a border poll until the nationalist block vote out – strips the Unionist block vote. At the time of the 2001 census the population over the age of 18 and eligible to vote was 41% Cat, 56 % Prod which corresponds directly with the %share of the vote won by the respective political sides. The 2011 census results will show 45% Cat, 51% Prod breakdown of the voting population. 2021 census will most likely show 48% Cat, 48% Prod. Then the fun will start.

  • Donal Davoren

    It seems the SF dirt machine is in full flow against those doing what SF tell people to do and that is cooperate with the PSNI. In all likelihood Gerrys big blood hound is behind this latest smear campaign. Is this the type of justice victims should expect from the Stormont government?

    Do victims expect a similiar smear campaign if they report the criminality of members of British institutions or their party members?

    What is the so called justice minister doing to protect those who report crimes if the criminals are political?

  • Toastedpuffin

    “Then the fun will start.”

    That’s the fear, I suppose. When the Cult realises a vote for a nationalist party doesn’t translate into support for an island state, there is the danger that the “strategy” will once again mutate into what one Shinner refered to as “what they do best”.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    the arrest of leading IRA/Sinn Fein member Padraig Wilson will be the first real test of Sinn Fein’s Declan Kearney’s bonafides. We will see how for his process get now???

    I suspect there is frantic activity at Connelly house rewriting the Kearney’s next speech The first commandment is “thou shalt not arrest sinners and provos just the British, Loyalists and bad IRA”!!!