Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

He’s back! Haass is returning to NI

Thu 26 December 2013, 5:48pm

Who said Haassmas comes but once a year? Our very own international problem solver Dr Richard Haass will be returning to get a deal that eluded him earlier in the week.

Question for our posters-if you were Richard Haass how would you approach these talks and what concessions would you seek to get from the parties?

If I were him, I would get the British and Irish governments more involved, Haass enters the talks with no carrots and no sticks. The two governments are in a position to do favours and can use pressure to get the parties to agree to a deal. Why they have taken such a distant approach to these talks thus far beggars belief-remember the Good Friday Agreement discussions, once Blair and Ahern got involved things properly started moving in the right direction.

Haass needs the same type of support from Villiers and Gilmore, that Mowlam and Andrews gave to George Mitchell in 1998.

 

 

Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on Delicious Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on Digg Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on Facebook Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on Google+ Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on LinkedIn Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on Pinterest Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on reddit Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on StumbleUpon Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on Twitter Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on Add to Bookmarks Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on Email Share 'He’s back! Haass is returning to NI' on Print Friendly

Comments (92)

  1. Bangordub (profile) says:

    David,
    Your question is “if you were Richard Haass how would you approach these talks and what concessions would seek to get from the parties?”
    You then suggest that he should involve the 2 Governments.
    I think it was the 2 Governments that involved him due to their aversion to having to try brokering a deal with those parties in the first place.
    My own tuppenceworth is simply to return to first principles. The whole flag / culture debate is not actually about freedom to express ones own but about the ramming of that expression down the throats of neighbours who do not neccessarily share those values.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  2. Agree, Bangordub.
    Unfortunately Cameron isn’t up to whispering “Joint Rule” in anyone’s ear.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  3. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Here’s the solution DUP/SF . Two flags or no flags other than the current status . You have 15 minutes to agree-otherwise I may see you again in 20 years time .

    Both governments are not putting in too much effort .They know they’re talking to brick walls . Give it another generation or so and then they’ll be lowering the Union Jack permanently from all public buildings which is apparently what the present generation of Unionist politicians would seem to prefer instead of a two flag compromise :(

    Unionist bloody minded self defeating intransigence loses again – but thats par for the course so -no new news there .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  4. sherdy (profile) says:

    None of the five parties involved will get burned in any way by deciding not to agree to anything dreamed up by Haass. And politicians need their hands held to the fire before anything can happen.
    Cameron and Kenny will not lose any sleep, or popularity, by washing their hands of the whole process. Agreement or not, the security of their positions will not increase one iota if they each put in a year’s time, blood, sweat and tears.
    So let’s face it, we’re on our own, apart from a Yank who doesn’t seem to know what time of day it is, or he wouldn’t be here.
    Don’t bother making any plans for a party to celebrate any success – there won’t be any.
    Sorry to sound so negative as we approach the new year, but the future seems as bleak as our weather.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  5. He is not a problem solver.
    He is a sap.
    The DUP and SF could buy at one end of Norn iron and sell him at the other end and he wouldn’t even know he was in a parcel.
    The stakes are really NOT that high.
    Nobody will be any worse if and when it all fails.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 2
  6. Sp12 (profile) says:

    Did I read correctly that the UUP vetoed a proposed Investigative group because it would have the power to arrest Security Force members as well as Republican/Loyalists suspected of crime?
    There’s that famous Unionist commitment to the rule of law raise it’s two heads again.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  7. Nevin (profile) says:

    tough re #NorthernIreland: “dysfunctional country that nobody cares about, except for cabal that milks it for all its worth”almost but not quite a Richard N Haass tweet

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  8. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    If I were Haass I’d ask the parties to send in their proposal for what a realistic deal, in their terms, would look like including any concessions they would be prepared to make.

    The thing is, he’s probably done that already.

    I’m not sure what the two governments can actually do. Previously the stakes were around major matters including legislation. This time the talks concern matters that are within Stormont’s gift to legislate over with little or no British intervention; with the possible exception of removing the Secretary of State’s parading powers.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  9. On the related issues of languages, symbols and flags why not simply follow the principles adhered to by half of Europe and cantonise the problem with a system of weighted majorities?

    Where 65%+ of elected councillors in a local government area favour one community or the other then that area will make use of the national flag and emblems associated with the community with the 65%+ representation.

    Make all local government bilingual but swap the principle or primary language in terms of stationary, street-signs, etc, again based on the 65%+ principle. For Nationalist communities Irish first, English second. For Unionist vice-versa.

    Where no weighted majority exists in favour of any particular national identity then a position of status quo should exist with no flags, neutral emblems and bilingual use with language primacy based upon agreements in local councils.

    Of course that won’t please the “normalisation” agenda of the Unionists in the DUP or UUP or the Crypto-Unionists in the APNI and NI21 but it might well satisfy Nationalist aspirations in the short term.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  10. SDLP supporter (profile) says:

    As I’ve posted elsewhere, if Haass is rebuffed, expect consequences like the winding up of the International Fund for Ireland whose annual allocation by Congress has to be voted on soon.

    Pace FJH, Haass is no sap.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  11. Cameron could threaten to carry out what he has already said would happen if the parties don’t make progress – cut the block grant. And then do it. Simples.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  12. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    David,

    I would have Haass ask the parties to rank order the issues and ask them to specify what they would be willing to give up in one area in order to get their way in another.

    “On the related issues of languages, symbols and flags why not simply follow the principles adhered to by half of Europe and cantonise the problem with a system of weighted majorities?

    Where 65%+ of elected councillors in a local government area favour one community or the other then that area will make use of the national flag and emblems associated with the community with the 65%+ representation.”

    @An Sionnach Fionn,

    So in the EU official buildings fly the flag of another country instead of their own wherever there is a 65% majority of an ethnic minority on a local basis? So the Hungarian flag is flown at police stations, etc. throughout Transylvania? I’m very skeptical.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  13. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “Agree, Bangordub.
    Unfortunately Cameron isn’t up to whispering “Joint Rule” in anyone’s ear.”

    @Mister_Joe,

    Too bad those untrustworthy politicians just aren’t up to just tearing up the agreements that were agreed to in 1998 and 2006.

    “Of course that won’t please the “normalisation” agenda of the Unionists in the DUP or UUP or the Crypto-Unionists in the APNI and NI21 but it might well satisfy Nationalist aspirations in the short term.”

    @An Sionnach Fionn,

    Just so we please those who really count.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  14. Alias (profile) says:

    Haass made a mistake by consulting with the broader society by inviting their submissions rather than focusing his efforts on the parties with whom an accord would actually be signed. That was an attempt to pretend that any eventual accord was the property of the public or, at least, was rooted in their actual concerns.

    In political reality, an accord is a form of horse trading between cynics whose only concern for public affairs and concerns is how they can be best manipulated to their own advantage.

    The political hacks don’t care about two of the core issues (parades, flags) but do care the third core issue, the so-called ‘dealing with the past’. They care about that issue because they have a personal interest in ensuring that they are never held unaccountable for their own roles as tribal rabble-rousers or murder gang organisers.

    Haass could pick out which horses could be traded (e.g. [initially] limited amnesty and no reconciliation forum can be traded for agreement on flags and marching) but the problem with involving the broader society is that while the Shinners can sell anything to the docile sheep that follow them and have no effective political competition, the DUP have a constituency that does not function as a single mind-set and is prone to fracture.

    If the boarder society has now spooked the horses, then the best option would be for absolute rather than the broader society to be consulted. In other words, put the core issues to the people via plebiscite and let the people decide. This will remove it from the hacks and give it the proper democratic legitimacy that Haass merely attempted to fabricate.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  15. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    I agree with Gonzo, hit the block grant.

    I disagree with Greenflag, I think the ‘two flag’ idea is one of the most toxic proposals ever thought of.

    It’ll be very divisive and compound the siege mentality of unionism.

    Similar with An Sionnach Fionn’s idea of monitoring demographics and tinkering with the street signs accordingly.
    It’ll compound the idea of territory and ‘lost ground’.

    The Irish signage idea would be easier to sell to Unionists if SF left it alone.

    Some how that message isn’t getting across.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  16. GEF (profile) says:

    “I disagree with Greenflag, I think the ‘two flag’ idea is one of the most toxic proposals ever thought of.”

    Indeed, if this idea was adapted what happens when SF ministers from Stormont visit Dublin on official duty, will the ROI fly a Union flag representing Northern Ireland?

    Likewise what happens when FM and DFM visits the US or other countries in future, will these countries fly both Union flag (representing Robbo and Tri colour representing Marty)

    Load of utter boll@cks whoever thought of this proposal.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  17. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    SDLP supporter :

    As I’ve posted elsewhere, if Haass is rebuffed, expect consequences like the winding up of the International Fund for Ireland whose annual allocation by Congress has to be voted on soon.

    And as I already told you, Haass isn’t here on behalf of the US government. The fact that he is American is nothing more than a happy accident. Why should Congress punish the beneficiaries of the IFI just because of the parties in NI ? Get a clue.

    Regarding the idea about the block grant, I suspect it would trigger a lot of “we won’t be bought” talk from the DUP. But I think people do need to understand that if they want to vote for parties who put silly things like flags and parades ahead of political and economic stability, there is a cost.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  18. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    On the point about two flags, I’m not as opposed to it as I might have been in the past. From a small-u unionist perspective it is one of several things that could be seen to strengthen the union itself; the desire to separate from the UK must surely be weakened by nationalists feeling that they have more buy-in to the NI state.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  19. streetlegal (profile) says:

    British Intelligence reports earlier in the year called it right. The DUP strategy from the outset was to talk and talk, but not conclude any new deals with Sinn Fein. So no-one in Downing Street will be surprised when the Haas talks fail to produce anything but yet another ‘working group’.

    Cameron may be tempted to link the NI block grant from the English Treasury to future progress on the shared future agenda – in the same kind of a way that Peter Hain successfully used to the threat of water rates to force through an earlier agreement.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  20. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “Make all local government bilingual ”

    Great idea. Lets stop using Flegs to denominate tribal areas and use road signs . And all this when 95% of both Nationalists and 99.99 % of Unionists are functionally illiterate in Irish or Ulster Scots. And this way we can reinforce the community divisions all the more and add the stamp of Government to it!!!

    But how many hospitals of surgeries do you want to close to fund it?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  21. cynic2 (profile) says:

    ” if Haass is rebuffed, expect consequences like the winding up of the International Fund for Ireland”

    …..a big loss to SF and the SDLP but most Unionists will think its of little consequence to them. Thats probably very unfair but the question has o be asked after so many years what has the fund actually achieved (as opposed to the many worthy projects it has delivered). Its not fair to blame it for that – there is 30 years of division to overcome – but its hard to see what good keeping it going will be when political leaders play zero sum games and wrap themselves in flags and MOPEry

    In short – what’s the point?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  22. DC (profile) says:

    Bilingual signs at least make more sense than sticking the tricolour up.

    I think the big mistake has been the removal of things deemed British by Nationalist politicians as imo to remove does not improve.

    Get the union flag up from councils throughout Northern Ireland and have bilingual signs where desired and wanted but not at the expense of Britishness or British symbols. If for instance a council, which doesn’t fly the union flag at all, wanted to introduce bilingual signs, a nice gesture might be to introduce both flag and signs as a win win.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  23. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “I agree with Gonzo, hit the block grant.”

    I agree with Gonzo too. All the parties are insulated from the real world realities and tied to clientism with a Civil Service that’s over 50% of GDP (never mind the rest of public sector)

    And tie what they do get to stringent requirements on efficiency and political co-operation. That will force them to seek political agreements or explain to their voters why services are suffering

    And along the way ban the payoffs to local councillors retired because of the boundary changes and cut the number of MPs and MLAs as well. Then watch the hows of outrage from those who have squandered the opportunities to date while they milked the system (selflessly serving the community of course)

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  24. cynic2 (profile) says:

    ” a nice gesture ”

    I agree but that requires goodwill and there ain’t any.

    This is the whole problem under Haass. Unionists perceive (rightly or not) that Republicans are not playing the game. Republicans equally have some grievances over parades etc and milk these to the hilt. The SDLP try to out-green SF by voting to name parks after murderers and calling for the release from prison of a man who tried to murder a fellow Unionist Councillor. Its all toxic.

    Unionists perceive that they are discriminated against through constant manipulation of the institutions designed to entice SF into the light of democracy and now ruthlessly manipulated to attack their culture. They see SF happy to just sit tight and lock tehse ‘gains’ in while seeking new ‘concessions’ for any agreement.

    They are too lazy and unfocused to deal with that politically tehmselevs

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  25. cynic2 (profile) says:

    They are too lazy and unfocused to deal with that politically themselves so they dig in on ‘what we have we hold’ which appeals to their more unthinking followers which is where most their voters lie these days

    If this sounds a very negative analysis it is. I see no sign on either side of any real desire to have a real agreement and a shared sense of how we move forward. Instead Haass has degenerated to a box ticking exercise quibbling over commas in sections of a report

    I am pleased to see him back for another attempt but fear the whole process now has all the attraction of a curled up Turkey Sandwich on 29th November.

    I just hope that when it all ends Haass is brave enough to resist the blandishments of the two Governments in extolling the ‘progress’ that has been made., He needs to tell it like it really is – that there has’t been progress and that neither side is willing to agree what day of the week it is

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  26. drmisery (profile) says:

    I too have fingering issues on the iphone but I get your meaning. As the old get older in the north down stockbroking belt and the young catholics keep breeding they way they do (I seem to remember this was remarked upon before by some sensitive unionist politician) . ..I’m afraid we all know that equality to unionists is not fairness to unionists, an equitable solution does not recognise the intrinsic entitlement of the unionists. We therefore should encourage democracy which has been so solely absent in a consistent basis since the inception of the state.

    Compromising unionist remains an oxymoron

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  27. DC (profile) says:

    How about this?

    All councils that do not fly the union flag should be outsourced and any connection to public sector contracts and terms and conditions broken and scrapped and the councillors put on min wage zero hour type contracts. Paid min wage and only for the hours they sit in committees and stuff like that, paid for when they actually do core council work and that doesn’t include time sitting down for a free council christmas dinner, because there won’t be any more of those either.

    Maybe Westminster could just legislate, well selective legislation it might have to be to put certain councillors on min wage?

    Some may claim discrimination, but as ever with discrimination so long as it can be justified and deemed reasonable then it will be OK. It seems justified and reasonable enough to me ;)

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  28. redstar2011 (profile) says:

    Sadly what it all boils down to is if there are to be any moves towards equality, be it in display of flags or whatever, unionists have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the reality that they no longer can have it all their own way

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  29. SDLP supporter (profile) says:

    Comrade Stalin

    I think you’re being a touch naïve if you think Richard Haass/Meghan O’Sullivan are not in some sense a surrogate for the US administration.

    Also, both the US and Europe-the largest contributors-would like to get shot of the IFI, but neither is willing to take the first step. This time may just be the catalyst they need.

    Still, it’s all speculation, Only time will tell who’s right.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  30. DC (profile) says:

    ‘On the point about two flags, I’m not as opposed to it as I might have been in the past.’

    It’s not about what you think, fact is that Nationalist-run councils can at any time take a vote to put two flags up – any time they like. Absolutely nothing in the way, nothing stopping those councils from putting two flags up, absolutely nothing.

    Why haven’t they?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  31. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “Bilingual signs at least make more sense than sticking the tricolour up”

    Is that not just the same logic that drives a dog when nit sees a tree? I am not getting at you. Just the concept as a whole

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  32. cynic2 (profile) says:

    By the way, on flegs, who will enforce this wonderful agreement?

    Will PSNI be on 24 hour a day call to rip down tricolors or union jacks in offending arears? Who will sit on the flegs quango? Will the New Parades Commission (like the old one but with more added Orange) take on the job of saying when where and why they can fly?

    What of the DUP and SF’s now party emblems? Will they be outlawed or just kept under the counter like mucky books? What about all those headstones in council graveyards that have flegs on them. Will they be banned in future? Chiseled off?

    Does Haass realise that in some cases we even have segregated graveyards or parts of graveyards – themuns in there and oursuns in here lest a drop of holy water from tehmuns side desecrate oursuns

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  33. WindsorRocker (profile) says:

    The “two flags” solution is not in line with the principle of consent, the GFA or indeed any other major political agreement made in respect of this place in the last 40 years.

    All of them state that the constitutional position of NI will only change if a majority agree. To that the end the flying of the flag of a state to which, by popular consent, we do not belong would be an abrogation of the principle of consent.

    Nationalism, under the pretence of communal equality, wants to adopt a symbol protocol that implies national sovereignty being shared and that is not the case and wasn’t even the case in the AIA or Sunningdale. They either witting or unwitting confuse cultural identity with national sovereignty.

    Unionism seems to be giving them ammo in that regard clinging to the Union Flag as a communal symbol rather than one of the state. Let designated days be the uniform policy for the Union Flag with no council opt outs and to sweeten the pill for Irish Nats, agree to a new Northern Ireland specific flag which could fly alongside the union flag on those designated days and even for the rest of the year.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  34. blabbermouth (profile) says:

    I would recommend to Dr Haas that he slips some powerful hallucinogenic drugs into the tea. He should then video the ensuing carnage on this trusty iPhone and threaten to upload the lot if they don’t sign up to the necessaries. In particular, the “mano a mano” between Gerry Kelly and Big Peter should clinch it…if that’s not too much punery for this weather!

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  35. drmisery (profile) says:

    Yeah that’ll work. That will recognise my Irishness in the north. Excellent . Let’s have something bland which will keep the nationalists happy for another 5 -10 years.

    Its horrible really having to accept that the nationalist population exist and by God should have equal rights as enshrined in British Mainland law as well as European. Unionists time to grow up and swallow that bitter equality pill. This is not Torquay, this is not Devon, this is a shared island now. It is not orange, it is not a cold house, it is a place where a shared future means real compromise. Lets not pretend and have more vanilla and expect that to work.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  36. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Unionists time to grow up and swallow that bitter equality pill. This is not Torquay, this is not Devon, this is a shared island now.”

    drmisery, there are three strands to the 1998 Agreement, not just the pro-nationalist Strand 2. If you read it, you will see that, politically, the island isn’t shared; there are two distinct sovereign states involved and there’s a measure of co-operation. You might also note that there’s no anti-state gunfire in Devon or in Cork.

    I’ve had a quick look at some Strand 2 orientated groups such as the International Fund for Ireland and the Trina Vargo led US-Ireland Alliance. It seems that some US students can’t read our political landscape:

    The Mitchell name opens doors on both sides of the Atlantic and the class of 2012 – who are studying in universities across the island including Galway and Trinity – met in Belfast recently.

    They travelled to Stormont to meet the first and deputy first ministers.

    “The thing that really struck me,” says Anise, “was that they almost seem to be buddy-buddy… It seemed that they had a genuinely good working relationship, (that) is somewhat of a miracle.”

    Of course, Peter and Martin will take the money with a smile but it doesn’t lessen the significance of the constitutional tug-of-war challenge. ‘Reaching out’ and ‘equality’ are just so much drivel; there isn’t a drop of sincerity in any of it.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  37. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “Yeah that’ll work. That will recognise my Irishness in the north. Excellent .”

    YOu seem to have a problem understanding what we all signed up to in theb referendum

    After Republicanism lost its sordid little “war” it was offered an Honorable peace. We voted in a referendum by a huge majority for a settlement where this is not ‘ a shared island’ but a shared NE corner of the Island of Ireland and with great fraternal links to the Republic. But this bit is British my friend no matter how much SF tell you otherwise (to try and conceal their utter military and political defeat where a majority of Catholics are now content to stay in the UK)

    As for your ‘equal rights’ you need to realize that Protestants and Unionists also have equal rights so you both have to compromise and negotiate. That means you wont gte all that you want to express your Irishness just as they wont get all they want. To borrow a phrase

    “Its horrible really having to accept that the Unionist population exist and by God should have equal rights as enshrined in British Mainland law and Irish law as well as European.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  38. DC (profile) says:

    Is that not just the same logic that drives a dog when nit sees a tree?

    Don’t think so, the language pre-dates the tricolour and reflects a way of life, the spoken word, a way of life that predates the RoI and can be lived out in any set up, the Irish language doesn’t necessarily need the Irish state nor does using it or developing it necessarily require there being an Irish state, whereas the tricolour…

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  39. Nevin (profile) says:

    “once Blair and Ahern got involved things properly started moving in the right direction”

    David, have you not read Trimble’s [pdf] and Mallon’s views on the damage done to centre-ground politics because of the side-deals done with loyalist and republican paramilitary organisations?

    Seamus: “Despite all the problems, will he now ensure that common sense is put back into the thinking in Downing Street and Dublin, to ensure that the political process in the north of Ireland regains that which was shabbily and foolishly taken from it by two sovereign Governments?”

    David: “At the heart of this issue was a departure from the condition-led policies that had framed the process up until 1998; instead, here was the state doing things for terrorists and getting little in return.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  40. drmisery (profile) says:

    And the clock stopped in 1998…unfortunate ly those damn catholics keep reproducing. While you are correct in saying a lot of catholics/nationalists arevhappy to stay in the greener part of the 6 counties, I think omagh had the highest proportion of N.Ireland types, to assume that the British green vote would stay in the north is borderline insanity by unionist s.

    To assume I vote Sinn fein would also be wrong, couldn’t be further from the truth or indeed by inference that I would have anything but total disgust in the violent campaign s waged to allegedly further the Irish cause would also be very wrong.

    You see, unionists just don’t get it, spiritually not intellectually of course, Irishness includes Montgomery as much as Collins, wilde as much as O’connor,
    Carson as much as de valera and you know what both need to be demonstrated in the north.
    I feel sorry for the unionist population so obsessed with the rules they can’t enjoy the game. Forget fairness I just want equality.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  41. redstar2011 (profile) says:

    Cynic I think your blabberings and outlook are sadly representative of a number of loyalists.

    What you dont seem to get or rather are incapable of absorbing is this place will continue to change so much for you ” proddy state for proddy people” it will basically be unrecognisable.

    You will be forced to see your Nat neighbours as equals and all that goes with that change. You at some stage are going to have to grasp that regardless of whether this place is officially under London, Luxembourg or Timbuktu, both sides will have to be treated equally.

    The reason Nats are massively more relaxed re ” flegs” etc is we knew that your lot would have to be dragged towards equality but you will end up there.

    The idea of only one flag is gone. For now most Nats can live with your wanting a ” fleg” a couple of dozen days a year- no biggy.

    These things always move forward. The idea now that some councils may end up flying Tricolour certain days or both flags shows how far we are moving- wasnt a million years ago our flag was outlawed.

    I understand you have to hang on to ideas about ” the good old days”- but frankly cynic the games up. There will be equality in all aspects of life.

    Someone recently complained that at this rate the Wee 6 will all but in name be as Irish as Dublin- only with London having ” the honour” of having to foot the bill

    Onwards and upwards for 2014

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  42. HammerTime (profile) says:

    A NI flag that represents both communities to fly, along with the Union flag (on designated days of course).

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  43. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Am Ghobsmacht/GEF

    “I disagree with Greenflag, I think the ‘two flag’ idea is one of the most toxic proposals ever thought of.”

    Theres nothing ‘toxic ‘ about the Irish Tricolour . It is the flag of 85 % plus of the people on this island . Neither is there anything toxic about the Union Jack .

    “Indeed, if this idea was adapted what happens when SF ministers from Stormont visit Dublin on official duty, will the ROI fly a Union flag representing Northern Ireland?”

    Why not ? If NI does not have it’s own agreed flag then the SF Ministers would be obliged to be represented by the Union Jack .They could of course insist on another Tricolour being flown as representative of the Nationalist /Republican community in NI

    “Likewise what happens when FM and DFM visits the US or other countries in future, will these countries fly both Union flag (representing Robbo and Tri colour representing Marty)”

    Again in the absence of an agreed NI flag why not . If the Ireland Rugby team can sing two anthems why can’t the NI political team fly two flags ?

    “Load of utter boll@cks whoever thought of this proposal.”

    The bollocksology is coming from within your thinking processes .Switch the light on and shovel out the stale manure ;)

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  44. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ WindsorRocker .

    The “two flags” solution is not in line with the principle of consent, the GFA or indeed any other major political agreement made in respect of this place in the last 40 years.’

    So what ? It represents the cultural and political future of a Northern Ireland with a British minority and an Ireland (UI ) with a small British minority .

    “All of them state that the constitutional position of NI will only change if a majority agree. ”

    Full marks for the obvious . Nobody is stating that is not the case .

    “To that the end the flying of the flag of a state to which, by popular consent, we do not belong would be an abrogation of the principle of consent.”

    Rubbish. It has nothing to do abrogation but it has everything to do with extending tolerance and inclusion to BOTH main cultural traditions . It might dawn on you that sometime in the not too distant future Unionists might welcome some extra /out of the box thinking in regard to toleration for the Union Jack . But I guess you don’t look further than the day after tomorrow :(

    “Nationalism, under the pretence of communal equality, wants to adopt a symbol protocol that implies national sovereignty being shared and that is not the case and wasn’t even the case in the AIA or Sunningdale. They either witting or unwitting confuse cultural identity with national sovereignty”

    It’s called fudge or fudging .You can stick to the letter of the law and the crossed t and dotted i’s etc but all this will achieve is that eventually the Union Jack will become less than respectable at such time as there is a UI . Do unionists want that ? Nobody s confusing cultural identity with national identity in Northern Ireland .Everybody knows which side they are on – one or the other or even both or none .The flying of two flags will make no difference to that that state of affairs . But it might make some gobshites wake up and smell the future when they see both flags flying together and life going on as normal such as it ever does !

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  45. Nevin (profile) says:

    Richard and Meghan: ““Urgency must be the order of the day. The gains made over the past decade-and-a-half can be lost, and even if they are not, much more needs to happen before peace and a shared future are assured,” they warned.

    The pair added that “an agreement from these negotiations would not solve all the remaining problems, but it would dramatically increase the odds that Northern Ireland begins to live up to its potential. The opportunity should be seized while it still exists”.

    But they warned “there is as yet no agreement and no certainty one will emerge”. source

    Splitting the difference may place their proposition in no-man’s land alongside the likes of APNI ie with little or no popular support where it matters – at the ballot box.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  46. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Redstar

    Oh dear. Teddy has been thrown form the pram …but where to start.

    “sadly representative of a number of loyalists.”

    What makes you assume I am a Loyalist? Evidence please?

    ” you ” proddy state for proddy people”

    Really? Where did that come from. I can only assume that you cannot deal with (or understand) the arguments so you resort of inaccurate and personal abuse.How do you know I am a ‘Prod’? What do you mean by a Prod?

    ” both sides will have to be treated equally.”

    Where have I suggested otherwise. But what does that actually mean? Lowest common denominator or some compromise? Have you any thoughts on that beyond personal abuse?

    “The reason Nats are massively more relaxed re ” flegs” etc is we knew that your lot would have to be dragged towards equality but you will end up there.”

    Presumably that’s why you fly so many of them, paint murals on walls steal union jacks and put them on bonfires etc (just like the Prods) . Its not just pissing on trees to mark your territory then?

    The idea now that some councils may end up flying Tricolour certain days or both flags shows how far we are moving.

    Is that your idea on equality?

    ” the good old days”- but frankly cynic the games up.

    Whose game is up? What a perverted world you seem to live in

    Someone recently complained that at this rate the Wee 6 will all but in name be as Irish as Dublin- only with London having ” the honour” of having to foot the bill. ”

    Really? Thats an interesting view. Who said that? When? In what context? Answering points like these is how you debate and have a discussion. Parroting abuse doesn’t get you as far. Try it sometime.

    The bile in your post exactly illustrates my point in earlier posts. There will be no agreement because oursuns and yoursions cannot see beyond the ends of their poliotical noses to any common future. For you and them its not about the economy or jobs or health – its all about putting one over on themuns.

    I genuinely feel sorry for you. Eventually you may see how narrow and sectarian a position that is> you may even come to realise that that is one of the things that so turns off even the average Irish voter who wants reunification like a hole in the head.

    You are in line for such a disappointment.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  47. tmitch57 (profile) says:

    “It’s called fudge or fudging .You can stick to the letter of the law and the crossed t and dotted i’s etc but all this will achieve is that eventually the Union Jack will become less than respectable at such time as there is a UI . Do unionists want that ? Nobody s confusing cultural identity with national identity in Northern Ireland .”

    @Greenflag,
    Sticking to the letter of agreements is what people do when they don’t trust each other. Unilaterally breaking the terms of agreements, whether you call it fudge or vanilla or shamrock pudding does not build trust. It really is as simple as that.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  48. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “what people do when they don’t trust each other

    Precisely.

    And some don’t want to trust each other as well – its not just about holding agreements , its about always stiffing the opposition (after you have first stiffed the smaller parties from your own side). No vision. No committment to any shared future

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  49. Nevin (profile) says:

    Liam Clarke’s schedule of the endgame

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  50. WindsorRocker (profile) says:

    Greenflag

    “cultural and political future of a Northern Ireland with a British minority and an Ireland (UI ) with a small British minority”

    “extending tolerance and inclusion to BOTH main cultural traditions . It might dawn on you that sometime in the not too distant future Unionists might welcome some extra /out of the box thinking in regard to toleration for the Union Jack .”

    You make the mistaken assumption that cultural unionism is the only strand of unionism. And despite my later point you also confuse cultural tradition with national sovereignty. If it ever gets to the point that unionists need “extra out of the box tolerance” for the Union Flag then NI will not be in the UK at that stage and the overwhelming majority of those who are now unionist will do as their ancestors did all over the world and assimilate or leave.

    A majority of people wish to remain in the UK, therefore all that unionists ask is that the Union Flag is respected as a national flag. I did mention designated days for that flag to keep it respectful and also my support for a new Northern Ireland flag which could let civic organisations uncomfortable with the Union Flag have another outlet but you omitted to discuss or quote that part of my post as it doesn’t suit the narrative of nationalism to go down that route as they want the Union Flag and the Tricolour to be the communal symbols of the two tribes so that they can then blur the lines between communal identity and national sovereignty in order to ignore or get around the fact that we belong, by majority consent, to one state.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  51. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    WindsorRocker

    ” toleration for the Union Jack”

    ?

    How much toleration do you want? In Belfast City they would fly the Union Jack 365 days a year and yet unionist could not agree.

    It is Unionists and Unionism who spend their time disrespecting the union flag.

    As for the “Northern Ireland flag” it turned out that Unionism was against the idea during the talks.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  52. leoseo (profile) says:

    Great post

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  53. DC (profile) says:

    Unionism seems to be giving them ammo in that regard clinging to the Union Flag as a communal symbol rather than one of the state. Let designated days be the uniform policy for the Union Flag with no council opt outs and to sweeten the pill for Irish Nats, agree to a new Northern Ireland specific flag which could fly alongside the union flag on those designated days and even for the rest of the year.

    I would reckon designated days – government buildings and NDPBs as well – is only going to come about in conjunction with an Irish language act or something else of cultural importance to Nationalists. The tricolour is a non-runner, for the reasons you make above, I wish Nationalists would fess up to this and even Haass had at the outset said as much i.e. it is a non-runner.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  54. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ tmitch57,

    The GFA itself is a fudge .It had to be .Otherwise even that much would not have been agreed . Even the holding of a referendum on the political future of NI was fudged .
    Both sides could have agreed to a referendum on the issue every 10 years but they agreed not to .Fudge is what they want and fudge is what they got .Those ‘unionists ‘ and their ‘republican ‘ counterparts who are not particularly enamoured of the GFA get to interpret it whichever way suits their agendas .Even the main political parties have endless problems with ‘interpreting ‘ the fudge .

    So whats one more piece of fudge being added to the mix ?

    The fact that they don’t trust each other is not news . It’s inevitable and has ever been the case since the establishment of the NI State in 1920 . Only the disestablishment of that state will turn communal and political mistrust into something more positive like real democracy.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  55. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “Only the disestablishment of that state will turn communal and political mistrust into something more positive”

    …..or depending upon the circumstances, Civil War eg Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ireland in the 1920s, South Sudan, Yugoslavia, etc etc etc

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  56. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “Unionism seems to be giving them ammo in that regard clinging to the Union Flag as a communal symbol ”

    Unionism does have a point on that. We all voted for the settlement and that included NI as an integral part of the UK. Yet Nationalists ( and it is a minority of Nationalists) object to the Union Flag.

    From the Unionist perspective (and there are two views) the problem is that the greener end of Nationalism hasn’t reconciled itself to the fact that they committed to be part of the UK and SF keep squirming to pretend that they didn’t while the SDLP shout ‘me too’ from the sidelines trying to out-green the Shinners

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  57. Am Ghobsmacht (profile) says:

    Greenflag

    ” “I disagree with Greenflag, I think the ‘two flag’ idea is one of the most toxic proposals ever thought of.”

    Theres nothing ‘toxic ‘ about the Irish Tricolour . It is the flag of 85 % plus of the people on this island . Neither is there anything toxic about the Union Jack .”

    We’re evidently not operating on the same level of mutual respect if you interpret my “two fleg idea = toxic” as “tricolour = toxic”.

    From a geeky standpoint, consider the tricolour to be oxygen. Harmless (mostly), add it to hydrogen in a particular combination and you have hydrogen peroxide.

    Very nasty.

    So, I’m not criticising the part but certainly the sum (and combination) of the parts.

    From contributing to this page you have come across some of the various unionist mentalities and there is no way on this planet that you can expect to see a ‘reasoned’ reaction from this 2 flag proposal.

    My own 3 flag proposal is only slightly better in that it prevents the “us or them” perspective which will undoubtedly apply.

    This perspective is laughably palmed off by some nationalists but every one knows this to be true.

    Gerry Adams was in the IRA, the two flag solution will be divisive.
    Can I prove it….?

    No, but we all know it.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  58. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @WindsorRocker,

    ‘You make the mistaken assumption that cultural unionism is the only strand of unionism.”

    You are assuming my assumption . I think that by now you should have grasped that GF can distinguish between the various brands of ‘unionism ‘ . Mostly I prefer to comment on ‘political ‘ unionism .

    “And despite my later point you also confuse cultural tradition with national sovereignty.”

    Not at all .I accept the current status of NI within the UK until such time that status is changed by a democratic vote of all the people of NI .Wheres the confusion in that ?

    BTW in case you haven’t noticed it -national sovereignty is’nt what it used to be .

    ‘ If it ever gets to the point that unionists need “extra out of the box tolerance” for the Union Flag then NI will not be in the UK at that stage and the overwhelming majority of those who are now unionist will do as their ancestors did all over the world and assimilate or leave.

    Of course . The problem is that Unionists are not alone living in Northern Ireland . Almost half the population or perhaps more are non unionist . Having two flags could prevent the flag issue remaining the main political issue being discussed for the next 25 or 30 years which as I’m sure are aware has already started with the flaggers in Belfast .

    ‘A majority of people wish to remain in the UK, therefore all that unionists ask is that the Union Flag is respected as a national flag.’

    Indeed which is what a two flag solution would do . It would keep nationalists and republicans in line with the GFA temporary agreement and would enable unionists to get used to seeing the Tricolour somewhere else instead of on top of a bonfire .

    ‘I did mention designated days for that flag to keep it respectful ”

    There’s nothing wrong with designated days .It’s what the rest of the UK accepts as standard operating protocol . But it’s ‘unionists ‘ who wanted 365 days a year of flag flying not nationalists/republicans -which is why some loyalists/unionists are continuing their flag protest in downtown Belfast ensuring that that city will continue to generate negative press as regards it being a safe location to invest or grow a business in or indeed shop.

    ” They want the Union Flag and the Tricolour to be the communal symbols of the two tribes ”

    Thats NOT because they want it .Thats because that’s what they are . It’s simple truth . There is no Northern Ireland ‘national ‘ flag because NI is not a nation .

    “so that they can then blur the lines between communal identity and national sovereignty”

    The lines are already blurred and will become more blurred in the future -thats what the GFA fudge was all about and it (the GFA ) accomodates that fudge as being necessary for some kind of political stability ..

    ” in order to ignore or get around the fact that we belong, by majority consent, to one state.’

    That fact can only be got around by an NI referendum on that specific issue . Everybody knows that -especially those who are overly fond of fudge .As to ignoring that fact ? .Hundreds of thousands do it already and have been doing so for years. Many have applied for Irish passports and they are not all nationalists or republicans .

    A two flag solution accomodates the changing demographics of Northern Ireland and as such is much more practical a solution than pretending it’s still 1920 or even 1965 .It isn’t and won’t be ever again .

    So it’s two flags or designated days imo .Anything else will be just a confused and even more confusing mess .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  59. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Am Ghobsmacht ,

    ‘From contributing to this page you have come across some of the various unionist mentalities and there is no way on this planet that you can expect to see a ‘reasoned’ reaction from this 2 flag proposal.’

    Indeed but thats not news to GF . It’s par for the course .Been dealing with it for years . Not a problem .I take the irrational aspects of self contradictory unionism and beat them with whatever stick is available and they are not hard to find . I will however continue to put forward my ‘rational’ view on this issue and others ,despite reactions from those who I consider to be short sighted /narrow minded /stuck in the past / etc etc etc .You should know the drill by now ;)

    As to hydrogen peroxide being nasty . Well yes and no . Even H2O2 has it’s benefits according to some of these geeks .

    http://educate-yourself.org/cancer/benefitsofhydrogenperozide17jul03.shtml

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  60. DC (profile) says:

    The union flag doesn’t fly alongside the tricolour in Dublin I don’t see why this arrangement should ever come about in Belfast or indeed anywhere else in N Ireland for that matter.

    National flags flown from publicly significant buildings tend to symbolise sovereignty and constitutional culture (or a state visit). These two things are missing when it comes to the tricolour, the Irish state is not sovereign here and joint authority is not in play this explains why the tricolour will not be flying here any time soon.

    Same way as the union flag doesn’t fly in Dublin alongside the tricolour today.

    Basically the two flags argument can be boiled down nut like and simply negated along the lines of – stop being so silly and wise the fck up.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  61. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Dublin isn’t a disputed territory, DC. Why would the union flag fly there ? Equally nobody is proposing to fly the tricolour in London.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 1
  62. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    SDLP supporter:

    I think you’re being a touch naïve if you think Richard Haass/Meghan O’Sullivan are not in some sense a surrogate for the US administration.

    But they’re not. They were not appointed by the Americans, nor is their presence endorsed by the US government. What’s naive about that ?

    The International Fund for Ireland exists substantially at the behest of various powerful Irish American political interests. Ultimately they will determine what happens to it in the future.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  63. Nevin (profile) says:

    These Haass/O’Sullivan observations:

    The agreement seeks to distinguish the overwhelming majority of parades, which pass off peacefully each year, from the small number that are contentious. It offers a new institutional architecture, prioritises local dialogue and mediation, and establishes a more transparent means of decision-making and oversight. We understand that improved structures alone cannot dispel the tensions around parades and protests; better relationships in the community are vital. But we are confident that what is in the draft agreement could create a much more co-operative process and context. .. BelTel link idem

    are at odds with the controlled anti-unionist attrition post-1994 referred to by Gerry Adams in 1997:

    Ask any activist in the north did Drumcree happen by accident and they will tell you, no. Three years of work on the Lower Ormeau Road, Portadown and in parts of Fermanagh, in Newry, Armagh and in Bellaghy and up in Derry. Three years work went into creating that situation. And fair play to the people who put that work in. And they are the type of scene changes that we have to focus in on and develop and exploit.

    Such control is problematic as a consequence of republican paramilitary splits or local SF representatives losing the run of themselves as well as reactions from various parts of the wider unionist community. Poor community relations flow from the constitutional tussle, a point seemingly missed by our US facilitators.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  64. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ DC

    ‘The union flag doesn’t fly alongside the tricolour in Dublin I don’t see why this arrangement should ever come about in Belfast or indeed anywhere else in N Ireland for that matter.’

    As Comrade Stalin puts it -The Republic is not disputed territory and neither is Britain . Northern Ireland is DIFFERENT in case you haven’t noticed .

    So you will be quite content to see no sign of a Union Jack in the province come a UI apart from outside the British consulate for that is the ultimate logic of the unionist/loyalist argument on this thread .

    I’d have thought there would be space for the Union Jack even if only at a provincial level in a UI but I guess that’s not what unionists and loyalists want .

    They did’nt want the SDLP in power sharing so they got SF instead .They did’nt want the Anglo Irish Agreement so they got the GFA . Keep it up lads the anti everything nationalist /republican is working well as we can all see from the past decade or so of the peace process .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  65. WindsorRocker (profile) says:

    In a United Ireland there would be no Union Flag. To me it symbolises the current link between NI and GB, a link that everyone accepted in 1998 apparently. A specific NI flag would be another matter.

    Whilst some people would like this place to be in a UI the reality is it is not and they all work within that in terms of taxation, currency etc so unionists if they are to have confidence in a settled future need to see our position in the UK respected. The mechanism is there to change it, and people accept the change that will come if that mechanism is used.

    People accept the reality of UK membership so in that sense this territory is not disputed. People may have different aspirations .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  66. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ WindsorRocker ,

    ‘ In a United Ireland there would be no Union Flag’

    Why not ? I can imagine the ‘union jack ‘ at least being part of an Ulster provincial flag as official state recognition of the British cultural minority in Ireland at least in the NE of Ireland . Can’t imagine much objection from most Irish nationalists or even republicans to such a scenario .

    Political unionism may go away but ‘unionists ‘ are not as a people with a unique culture on this island .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  67. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “Dublin isn’t a disputed territory, ”

    Nor is NI. We voted bya huge majority to stay in the UK

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  68. WindsorRocker (profile) says:

    Greenflag,

    You are not referring in your hypothetical scenario to the Union Flag itself but to its inclusion in a provincial flag which I have already said is a different issue to the one of the state flag.

    You talk of including the union flag in some way in a post UI much in the same way that I am happy for a new NI flag to show some deference to symbols of irishness such as harps, shamrocks and maybe even the colour scheme of the Irish tricolour in some way.

    What I think is absurd is that the Union Flag would fly in its own right in a UI as some kind of tribal standard when we wouldn’t be part of the UK then much in the same way as we are not part of the ROI now which renders the flying of the tricolour in NI as an absurdity.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  69. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Nevin,

    This constant referencing of the “athboy strategy” at every possible juncture surely must be nothing more than spam at this stage.

    cynic2,

    I prefer to refer to the referendum in 1998 (which wasn’t boycotted) where the nature of the dispute over NI’s status was affirmed as part of an international agreement.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  70. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Stalin

    I was referring to 1998

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  71. Nevin (profile) says:

    CS, the Ballintoy incident took place in the summer of 2012 so that makes it fairly topical and more relevant than the Haass/O’Sullivan commentary. When I checked out the Ballintoy parade I discovered that permission had not been sought from the Parades Commission. Your ill-considered intervention reminds me of that Abraham Lincoln quote: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  72. Gopher (profile) says:

    Something like 20% of the population are stupid, the agreement has to recognize that. No point negotiating on any other reality.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  73. Republic of Connaught (profile) says:

    DC:

    “The union flag doesn’t fly alongside the tricolour in Dublin I don’t see why this arrangement should ever come about in Belfast or indeed anywhere else in N Ireland for that matter.”

    I really despair at these head-in-the-sand comparisons used by unionists so often. It only magnifies their complete failure to face reality.

    It might have passed your notice, DC, but half of Dublin city council do not vote for unionist parties and hence do not have the democratic power to get the Tricolour flown only on designated days. If half of Dublin was unionist voting, then these issues would probably exist. Clearly it isn’t; so the comparison is useless.

    Pretending all those Irish nationalists in Belfast don’t exist because of useless polls in the BT won’t get unionism anywhere, DC. They’re there, and their numbers and thus democratic power is only going upwards from here.

    Unionism really needs to accept that big changes are inevitably coming in the 6c, even if partition remains.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  74. DC (profile) says:

    Well then RoC, let Nationalist-run councils vote to put up the tricolour, put it up, let’s see what happens, put it up then.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  75. DC (profile) says:

    Nothing is stopping said councils, so go put it up, go, go on then, put the trickler up.

    Let’s see what happens.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  76. Sp12 (profile) says:

    Been on the WKD tonight DC?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  77. DC (profile) says:

    Sp12

    Watch this clip below, Irish Republicans in N Ireland = threatening Mexicans in the USA.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yDmEn-H1mc&feature=youtu.be

    Little Cody is just like little Guy Spence, Guy Spence was moved to tears the day the Union flag was taken down from Belfast City Hall, he has had trouble sleeping since.

    You rotters, hope you Irish Mexicans can sleep at night!

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  78. Republic of Connaught (profile) says:

    DC:

    “Nothing is stopping said councils, so go put it up, go, go on then, put the trickler up.

    Let’s see what happens.”

    DC, I want to see national sovereignty for all 32 counties of Ireland under one national flag of Ireland.

    That flag won’t be the Tricolour, and clearly not the Union Jack. And it won’t exist in the near future. So these squabbles now about which flags fly on which days in the 6c don’t particularly interest me.

    Though I believe the Union Jack on designated days on Belfast city council is fair because it’s London that pays the bills. It will also serve to remind northern nationalists that their country is still partitioned and there’s work to be done.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  79. DC (profile) says:

    Listen, enough of this bullshit waffle, put the tricolour up from the councils with a nationalist majority and let’s see what happens.

    Otherwise, not just you, everyone, shut the fck up about the tricolour.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  80. Sp12 (profile) says:

    Blue WKD clearly.
    Don’t drink and post.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  81. DC (profile) says:

    Well not really, you need to know and admit there is nothing stopping nationalist-run councils from flying both flags or just the tricolour. Nothing.

    Nope.

    Nothing.

    Please go for it, Unionists are not in your way, so try it out and see what happens.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  82. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Why its not worth posting on Slugger anymore 1.1!!!!

    Still it was 3am and it is Christmas so we will forgive you

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  83. Morpheus (profile) says:

    Scotland has The Saltire, Wales has The Red Dragon, England has St George’s Cross yet all remain part of the UK. Northern Ireland having a new flag (and anthem) that we can call our own, which represents us all and doesn’t divide us should be a no-brainer but as as usual we have to go through the motions of ‘never never never………..oh alright then’ and ‘not an inch………oh alright then.’

    Having a new flag which doesn’t divide us in no way impacts the constitutional position of Northern Ireland and as such is perfectly in line with the Good Friday Agreement.

    The politicians at Westminster, the epicenter of GB politics, seem to have no problem with NI having a new flag with ZERO MPs signing their motion:
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/dup-flag-vote-left-blowing-in-wind-29831770.html

    If anyone wants to know why the Tricolour and The Union Flag are now ‘toxic’ then all they have to do is look at how they been abused and misused for the past few decades in Northern Ireland.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  84. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    @DC
    “Well not really, you need to know and admit there is nothing stopping nationalist-run councils from flying both flags or just the tricolour. Nothing.”

    In a place like Tyrone any party that did it would lose votes.

    @Morpheus

    A new flag for “Northern Ireland is a dead parrot.

    “A so-called neutral flag would be an attack on Northern Ireland’s position in the UK and a dilution of our Britishness: a ploy to diminish and phase out the Union Flag.
    Jim Allister
    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/regional/unionists-reject-haass-s-proposal-for-a-new-northern-ireland-flag-1-5726803

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  85. Morpheus (profile) says:

    Jim Allister represents less than 1.4% of the electorate so his opinion is FAR from representative. I fail to see how a new flag which doesn’t stick a big fat wedge between us dilutes Britishness in any way. The constitutional position of Northern Ireland doesn’t change a jot.

    I wonder does Jim think that those in Scotland, England and Wales are less British because they have their own flag? I think not. The British Government obviously don’t have a problem with a new flag – why should Jim ‘I’m All about the victims’ Allister?

    Haass should deal directly with the guarantors of the GFA instead of wasting his time with these ‘politicians’ who haven’t an ounce of diplomacy between them.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  86. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ WindsorRocker,

    “You talk of including the union flag in some way in a post UI much in the same way that I am happy for a new NI flag to show some deference to symbols of irishness such as harps, shamrocks and maybe even the colour scheme of the Irish tricolour in some way.”

    In a post UI situation the Tricolour will be the national flag unless it’s changed or amended to include a ‘British ‘ symbol to represent that part of Ireland . That decision would be up to the Government of the time and would probably require a referendum of all the people on the island at the time ..

    “What I think is absurd is that the Union Flag would fly in its own right in a UI as some kind of tribal standard when we wouldn’t be part of the UK then.”much in the same way as we are not part of the ROI now which renders the flying of the tricolour in NI as an absurdity.”

    You may not have noticed being too close to the trees but the entire NI situation is an ‘absurdity’ and the State itself was not the first choice of unionists of the time and never even recognised as legitimate by 35% plus of it’s population from day one . It’s only now gaining more widespread acceptance both inside NI itself and outside .

    Look around the world today at some of the trouble spots -Iraq/Palestine /Cyprus /Kashmir / Northern Ireland etc and you discover the common factor uniting them all is that the creators /designers of these states were British imperial bureaucrats trying to extricate themselves from the ‘absurdities ‘ of their creations .

    Neither Australia or New Zealand are part of the UK yet they find a spot on their flags for the union jack . The old South African Flag contained as an insert the flags of the various provinces and also a union jack as representative of the British former connection. So there are several ways in which the union jack can be accommodated . Its a imo much more acceptable symbol than say a Crown which would represent hereditary monarchy -another absurdity .

    As to a new NI flag etc . The fact is it does not exist . Both Tricolour and Union Jacks do. Both flags are part of the fabric -no pun intended- of Northern Ireland .

    If the Israelis /Palestinians can come up with a Two State solution why can’t NI come up with a Two flag solution .You know it makes sense at least until such time as one is superflous to national requirements and must be accomodated in a less oostentatious manner .

    BTW – I’ve no doubt that even in a UI -Orange Parades will not be deficient in Union Flags .After all it’s part of their cultural heritage including the Reformation , Bonfires , Burning Tyres and Irish Tricolours , Kick the Pope bands etc -Shure it’s all great fun really apart from the clean up costs and the few trouble spots .

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  87. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    @ Morpheus

    According to the Newsletter it was all the unionist parties who rejected a “Northern Ireland” flag.

    I do not know what the nationalist parties position was.

    You ask the question about the other parts of the UK being less British when they have their own flag. They do have the advantage of actually being in Britain.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  88. Nevin (profile) says:

    “They do have the advantage of actually being in Britain.”

    McSlaggart, Eamon Gilmore appears to think that we are in Britain:

    This evening, as we approach the 20th anniversary of the landmark Declaration signed at Downing Street on 15th December 1993, we are honoured that Sir John Major has agreed to reflect on relations between Britain and Ireland. .. Iveagh House lecture, 11 December 2013

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  89. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Richard N. Haass ‏@RichardHaass 23h
    re NI: Belfast/Good Friday Agreement ended the conflict; current effort aims to build the peace; differences difficult but not intractable”

    Last time I looked the conflict was still smouldering and showed no signs of dying out. Perhaps he should review his sources of information.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  90. Morpheus (profile) says:

    If you want know anything from the confidential meetings then ask Jeffrey Donaldson, he will tell anyone who will listen and according to Naomi Long on Nolan last week will even throw in a few porky-pies as well to help him save his salary/pension. What a guy.

    You say all the unionist parties rejected a “Northern Ireland” flag – why is that? Its got feck all to do with sovereignty, that won’t change without referendum, so it must be the same tired old ‘never never never’ bollix. The ‘politicians’ are so shortsighted it’s unreal, they should be thinking about how their behavior now will effect unionism 10, 20 and 50 years from now. Keep telling themmuns that they have been given ‘the gift’ equality (but only with terms and conditions) and see how that ends up.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  91. Mc Slaggart (profile) says:

    Morpheus

    The problem with unionism is that it is based on being “British”. with the rise of the eu and European identity its a concept which has to adjust to a new paradigm.

    I have found it something of a paradox that being an Irish Nationalist is now accepted as part of main stream “British” culture and unionist culture is not.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  92. Greenflag (profile) says:

    “I have found it something of a paradox that being an Irish Nationalist is now accepted as part of main stream “British” culture and unionist culture is not.

    As you say it’s an adjustment /adaptability thing . Never a Unionist forte and unlikely ever to be a strong trait among a large section anyway.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2003 - 2014 Slugger O'Toole Ltd. All rights reserved.
Powered by WordPress; produced by Puffbox.
345 queries. 1.021 seconds.