“Personally I think Adams’ stated allegiance to democratic politics is subservient to this dream..”

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Interesting essay by Colm Keena with  thoughts on the very long (and very secret) career of Gerry Adams. Hs views are fairly subjective views, but how John’s touched on the deep and early (and lasting) enmity between the SDLP and the IRA, it might provide a useful counterbalance to some of the conjecture there…

What struck me… [was] the way the movement for civil rights in Northern Ireland, encouraged as it was by other such movements around the world targeting oppression, became so particularly violent.

The reason for this, I decided, lay in the fact that Adams, and others like him steeped in the culture of Irish republicanism, were of the view from the start that the civil rights question in Northern Ireland would quickly become the national question.

And he and other republican true believers were convinced that the national question could be resolved only through violence: the Brits would have to be driven out.

Because they held this view, republicans saw the eruption of violence in the North (which they encouraged) as an opportunity. If the scale of the violence and killing could be increased and maintained, the British would tire and leave.

There’s that old familiar form versus content argument again. In fact Keena’s views (he speaking in Vincent Browne’s Op Ed slot) are on Adams’ own romantic form of nationalism are every bit as uncompromising as Gerry Fitts’ were, as they say, “back in the day…”

But it is less the violence Keena seems to object to than the romantic origins of the violence:

A bewildering aspect of researching Adams was reading newspaper reports about the truly awful deaths and maiming suffered by the victims of IRA atrocities – for instance the shoppers slaughtered and maimed on Bloody Friday, in 1972, when the IRA set off 26 bombs within 80 minutes in central Belfast – and contrasting this with Adams’s fictional writing.

One short story concerned an IRA volunteer (you have to believe it is Adams) who goes out after curfew in Belfast to help an injured hedgehog. The story is enormously sentimental and it seemed generally that when Adams sat down to write fiction he found himself inescapably drawn to romantic depictions of life in the IRA.

Maybe in real life he lay in bed at night in Belfast safe houses while around him in the city people mourned their maimed and their dead, and young British soldiers patrolled the streets, and he thought the whole scenario romantic.

This seemed to me then, and still seems to me, to be at least plausible. How else could the stories be explained?

And he closes pretty stridently…

Adams’s principal political motivation remains his dream of a united Ireland. Personally I think that his stated allegiance to democratic politics is subservient to this dream, and that even if this view is wrong, to act on a belief to the contrary is to take a great risk.

Adams is a member of the Dáil, Sinn Féin is in power in Northern Ireland, the party is on the rise in the Republic, and it seems it will hold the position of Dublin Lord Mayor in Easter 2016.

Indeed it is possible it will be in power, north and south of the Border, come the anniversary of the 1916 Rising, the event that did so much to feed the romantic view of political violence which has so blighted this island.

It is not difficult to imagine Sinn Féin wanting to use the anniversary to influence popular views on the legitimacy of the Provisional IRA’s campaign, thereby justifying Adams’s career, and providing a boost to the republican tradition.

People who voted Sinn Féin need to pay serious heed to these dangers. At least part of the energy within Sinn Féin comes from its militant nationalist tradition. That tradition is a menace. We should eradicate it.

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  • gendjinn

    Alan N/Ards,

    about the Gardai, the current crop need reform but after independence the country was thoroughly shagged, broke and paying land rents to Britain. After a war of independence, a civil war, we had nothing. The fact that the new state established an unarmed police force that commanded the respect and support of all people is an inspirational accomplishment, I don’t think getting a UI 20 years early is worth trading that heritage.

    The Gardai are far from perfect and have been for a long time (Nicky Kelly) but they have a demonstrated history of success gaining the support and respect of unionists before. I’m not sure what symbols or paraphernalia the Gardai have that is objectionable to Unionists and Gardai is the Irish for police force so I’m not sure we can change the language to acommodate you.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    tuatha

    “A/G – the name has been so long absent and, entrammelled when thrust ungraciously to the fore, that I had forgotten it.
    ERIN.
    For that I would do dumb stuff indeed.”

    Shall we then start a Monster Raving Looney Erin Party?

    Policies could include a solar farm in Galway, lemonade hooked up to the mains water supply, national service for all adult males under the height of 4ft and a policy of making a UI more appealing for some members of the one group of people who stand in the way of a United Ireland?

    If you need me I’ll be the guy with the underpants on his head and two pencils up his nose, standing on the main road to Dublin, a small village on Mars just outside the capital, ‘Wibble’.

  • gendjinn

    Am Ghobsmacht,

    I’ll put it as simply as I can, ( cos you’re acting as if I’m a DUPer with a ‘smash Sinn Fein’ banner).

    I don’t think that at all. Not sure how anyone could after you stating your openness to a UI. You want to gut SF so it is powerless, but because you only want it reduced by 90% calling it a decommissioning is objectionable? For some reason you are willfully, repeatedly getting bogged down in the terminology on that point – when it is not materially relevant to the discussion at hand.

    For me, (this is a summary, the rest was in the post that never posted) my 30 pieces of silver would pretty much be ditching the tricolour and the anthem (as well as removing the church(es) from education and the state like you similarly suggested).

    Open to a deal on flag, anthem and I’m already a big fan of getting religion out of the schools.

    I would love to retain the NHS and such like, but, maybe we should leave that for real politicians in a new Ireland, I don’t know how much longer it can survive in the UK.

    I get the NHS request but you can’t have a two-tiered health system in the country & we can’t afford it in the whole country. Maybe the UK will pay for it as a dowry :)

    It would be nice to maximize the harmony & togetherness of re-unification but there’s little point in pursuing those uninterested. If there was any appetite for a non-violent nationalist party the SDLP would be riding high.

    In summation Nationalists are up for a UI deal today & on the table are:
    * Flag
    * Anthem
    * Tinkering with the constitution, and laws
    * Adding some minority protections, regulatory mechanisms, bodies, whatever to make everyone secure and secured
    * Retaining some form of Stormont for a transitionary period
    * Religion out of eduction
    * Improved health care system – this is getting into the realm of electoral polity decisions of where to prioritize spending, not sure how realistic it is for a re-unification discussion to settle that question permanently.

    SF are up for that deal. If you can’t make that deal with them there’s nothing I can do about it, SF are not going to go away.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    gendjinn

    Do you see how close we’re getting?

    Thing is, if a former school bully offered to buy my house, I’d tell him to boost.

    If a nice rational man came up and made the same offer I’d consider it and shake on it if the offer is indeed up to scratch.

    SF are a toxic brand.

    There is nothing they can say or do to any unionist to make a UI appealing.

    Even if they came up with a deal that was better than the hypothetical UI21 deal I still wouldn’t go for it (and in turn same with most other Lundy-unionists).

    Having them represent the dream of a UI is like having 3 Para as the face of a British tourist board campaign in Northern Ireland:
    “Why settle for Londonderry when the REAL London is only an hour away??? Book your flight today, Paddy!”.

    SF don’t have to go away (can you imagine the jokes if they did), in fact it would be better if they didn’t go away for then we’d just consider the new unification party to be SF in all but name.

    It’s simple psychology gendjinn.

    I’m not suggesting that you get rid of them so please stop answering as if I did for anyone who reads this will assume that I did (which I didn’t).

    I’m saying there’s room for a new kid on the block.

    So far no one has given me any argument against this potential.

    So there you have it, I’m potentially up for it, others are too, but we need a decent mediator/sales-party to handle it.

    That is where the vacuum is.

    Another pro-unification party is needed.

    In the meantime, the farce goes on.

  • gendjinn

    Am Ghobsmacht,

    So if SF started advocating for the Union you’d be for a UI?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    gendjinn

    ‘Am Ghobsmacht,

    So if SF started advocating for the Union you’d be for a UI?

    I honestly wonder about that myself sometimes.

  • Alan N/Ards

    gendjinn
    We have a police service that is accountable to the people of NI. It is a cross community service, that has faced down thugs on both sides of the divide. It is supported by all the political parties and will be going nowhere if a UI comes about. This is not about what cap badge the Gardai use or the colour of their uniform. It’s not about you saying Gardaí or my old auntie saying Polis. You seem to putting the heritage of the guards over what is right for the island. This one size fitting all myth, does not work. It’s about horses for courses.
    We all know that NI is/was never as British as Finchley, because of the large nationalist population. At the same time it will never be as republican Irish like Cork, Dublin etc because of the large unionist population. We need to meet somewhere in the middle to be able to live in peace with each other. Unionism has learned this the hard way and are still learning.

    I’m not advocating a UI, but if it happens, I want to be able to embrace it. I want unionism to march into it as one body and not to be divided on it. I don’t want, as Paddy suggested, Unionist domination over this new state. I just want unionism to be able bring as much of our heritage into it that is possible but I do realise that things will have to discarded. There has to be no winners and no losers for it to work. The same goes for NI today.

  • gendjinn

    PaddyReilly,

    Nice idea, but you need to learn to distinguish between obvious time-wasters and the genuinely interested.

    Indeed. NATO, TA bases & recruitment were a bit OTT.

    The constitution has to be changed – but never are any passages cited. The Gardai have to go or be changed or but no details provided of the problem they pose, smacks of retribution for the RUC to PSNI.

    It’s still worth engaging with Unionism to let them know that there’s a deal a available on issues they claim are important, and it’s more important to let them know that should we have to win the border poll without them there won’t be such a deal. Even more important, a UI is coming eventually and although we’d love it sooner there are some prices not worth paying.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Alan N/Ard

    “We have a police service that is accountable to the people of NI. It is a cross community service, that has faced down thugs on both sides of the divide.”

    The PSNI have lost a lot of credibility in West Tyrone (Omagh in particular) .

    One issue is that their is a perception that the PSNI is not capable of enforcing the law.

  • gendjinn

    Alan N/Ards,

    the merits or justification for your position on the PSNI/Gardai isn’t the point – I’m telling you what I think is politically feasible or acceptable to the majority in the 26. It’s not if you have an airtight logical case why retaining the PSNI and/or changing the Gardai is absolutely the most awesome thing to do, it’s what will pass referendum in the south.

    Here’s the thing – any chance you have of retaining the PSNI, Stormont or making major changes to how the 32 will be run – that window is open now but it is closing. When it does, there will be no retention of the PSNI, no new flag, anthem, etc.

    I believe you when you say you want to be able to embrace a UI when it comes. But you want that UI to retain TA bases and join NATO. The Irish people are not going to do either of those things, so you won’t be able to embrace the UI.

  • Alan N/Ards

    gendjinn

    It’s pretty obvious that you really don’t want to accommodate unionism in a new Ireland. You fail to accept that NI is different to the south. The NATO comment was tongue in cheek but is it anymore OTT than the Garda as an all island police force. It’s not going to happen. There are a lot of border unionists who would be relieved at that.

    The PSNI was a compromise that has worked. They’re not perfect but they bravely do their duty and take crap from thugs on both sides.

    I would say some sort of Joint Authority Administration is the likely outcome in the end. Two flags and the rest etc. Political unionism needs to wake up and smell the coffee and get off their high horse. Bring it on.

    BTW I have gave the SDLP my vote at the last election and will continue to do so. They are into unifying the people and not the landmass. I hope many more unionists start doing the same

  • Alan N/Ards

    gendjinn
    That was posted before I read your post @13:43

  • gendjinn

    Am Ghobsmacht,

    I honestly wonder about that myself sometimes.

    The merits of a UI stand and fall on their own. Whether or not a certain group supports it should have no rational bearing on the matter.

    The vast bulk of your recent commentary has been about SF and not the other more tangible areas that might need to change.

    Only you can resolve your animus with SF.

  • Son of Strongbow

    None of the suggested tweaks to the culture and politics of the Republic would influence this unionist to agree to go quietly into that dark night.

    Unionists agreeing, IMHO, to a ‘united’ Ireland cease to be unionists.

    Whereas the contrarian within me might enjoy living in a state to which I would have zero allegiance; the everyday simple pleasures of adding my little bit of grit to the official machinery of the country might provide a soupçon of pleasure.

    However I have the comfort of a British Passport and the financial wherewithal to up sticks should living in a 32-county Ireland become overly embarrassing and tiresome.

    But that’s just little old me.

    I suspect that a number, who can realistically predict at this remove how many that may be, might be feeling angry and trapped should the 50+1 Golden Day ever dawn, and may not have the mobility to change their locale (cattle cars to Larne docks or a resettlement package are nationalist wet dreams and are equally risible).

    It speaks volumes about some nationalists’ agendas that they regard even the notion of trying to design an agreed Ireland as some sort of sop to unionists who might be swayed by such notions.

    They are seemingly so blinded by the race, as they obviously see it, towards majoritarianism (aka nationalist dominance: the Green State), and so concerned (not) with the future of ‘their” Ireland that they don’t for a moment consider that taking a disaffected minority within the borders of a ‘new Ireland’ might not be a particularly good thing for either society or the economy.

    Of course in reality their hopes are for a 1922 Round 2 and that the unionist population will empty out of the island as they did in the Republic leaving a Green and pleasant land untrammelled by Pesky Prods.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    gendjinn

    “The merits of a UI stand and fall on their own. Whether or not a certain group supports it should have no rational bearing on the matter.

    The vast bulk of your recent commentary has been about SF and not the other more tangible areas that might need to change.

    Only you can resolve your animus with SF

    At present, how does one separate the topic of a UI from SF?

    They are in essence the bannermen for ‘the cause’.

    If I don’t like what I see in a potential UI it’s because SF are flying the flag.

    You’ve been told quite clearly how SF make the UI idea a difficult pill to swallow for unionists, not just me.

    A pragmatist would address the issue a footsoldier/drone would just toe the line and carry on regardless.

    Your choice.

    SoS – Where the bally-hell have you been??
    I’ve been saying MOPE. MOPE. MOPE into the mirror with candle light at the stroke of midnight in the hope that you would appear.

    The floor Sir, is yours.

  • PaddyReilly

    The debate as to what shape a United Ireland might take is interesting, but negotiations would have to proceed within certain parameters.

    The first of these is that the few may demand special treatment from the many, but the few cannot impose their will on the many.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses may ask that their children be not given blood transfusions, but they may not ask that no children be given transfusions. Sikhs may petition to be allowed to wear turbans and beards in public service, but they may not require that everyone wear beards and turbans.

    As there are religious schools for Free Presbyterians, it cannot be argued that the permitting of religious schools is an anti-Unionist measure. Unionists in any case do not have the right to interfere with the schooling of non-Unionists.

    Legitimate concerns are that working people should not be charged to visit a doctor: this would be popular even in non-Unionist circles. The availability of certain television channels is a good one.

    The rules for joining the British Army http://www.army.mod.uk/join/20149.aspx
    allow citizens of the Irish Republic to join, but not if they are still resident in the Irish Republic. This measure is for the benefit of both jurisdictions. I imagine this applies to the T.A. as well. The Army reserve of the Irish Republic performs an identical function to the T.A.: you may even get to go to Afghanistan these days.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Paddy

    I’m not trying to impose views, I’m highlighting the path of least resistance (relatively speaking)

    Now that you’ve told me that there are Free P schools it only stiffens my resolve that the church(es) should be booted out of state/educational affairs:

    “Son, what was the bad word that you uttered so that the teacher would give ye 100 lines to write in detention?!”

    “Daddy, I said ‘Tricerotops’…”

    I’m no fan of Catholic education but my wife (a Catholic teacher) reliably informs me that at least they have no beef with Darwin/Russell.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Paddy
    You seem to be saying that unionists (the few) should know their place, Very Henry Joy McCracken of you. Not.

    I was under the impression that Free P schools were self funding.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    PaddyrReilly

    Which is more important:

    1/ A workable and realistic united Ireland

    2/ A fantasy Ireland that adheres to your wants.

  • Reader

    Am Ghobsmacht: Now that you’ve told me that there are Free P schools it only stiffens my resolve that the church(es) should be booted out of state/educational affairs:
    Unlike the Maintained sector, the Free P schools are not state funded. I think the science education and discipline policies would rule them out.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Hi AG,

    Been off on the steel horse for a two-wheeled jog around the continent, or the Mainland’s Mainland as some might have it.

    Went down to Dubrovnik to say hi to some pals via a detour into Scandinavia to pay my annual homage to Odin and the Gods of The North. Back by Normandy for the ‘D’ Day events and then a reconnoitre of the Lost 26 before home in time for tea.

    The full itinerary is on my site, mypointlessvanityproject.mesell over on the whywouldanyonegiveatoss.blogspot. ;)

  • gendjinn

    Alan N/Ards,

    It’s pretty obvious that you really don’t want to accommodate unionism in a new Ireland.

    Flag, anthem, adjustments to constitution & laws (which ones you refuse to identify). Not open to NATO or British Army bases or recruiting in Ireland and telling you that the people of Ireland won’t go for your proposed changes to the Gardai. Yeah, that’s being obviously the definintion of uncompromising. I’m not criticising the PSNI or saying your point is without merit, I’m saying the people of the 26 counties will not go for it. You are asking for something that cannot & will not be delivered. When I point that out to you, I’m not being willing to accommodate unionists?

    Thing is, UI is inevitable and it will be within my lifetime. When it comes in the future there will be no new flag, no new anthem, no changes to the constitution or the Gardai. As is typical with Unionism, they don’t like today’s deal but they’ll end up with a worse one in the future.

  • gendjinn

    Alan N/Ards,

    That was posted before I read your post @13:43

    My response missed this one. But it was mostly a restatement for improved clarity.

  • PaddyReilly

    As I understand it, the opinions of Irish Nationalists such as SF & SDLP have, in the United Kingdom….

    1) Absolutely no effect on the governance of the U.K, its flag, monarchy, constitution, alliances, membership of Defence or Cultural Organisations, or any feature of the life of ordinary Englishmen or Scotsmen;
    2) Some input into the working of the 6 counties of Northern Ireland, though by no means calling the shots;
    3) An overwhelming influence on the running of Nationalist areas such as Derry.

    What I propose is a United Ireland where the opinions of Unionists and ex-Unionists would have:-

    1) No influence on the constitution, or the lives of people in the 26 country area;
    2) Some influence, though by no means ruling the roost, in the 6 county area;
    3) A predominant influence in predominantly Unionist areas such as Ards.

    I’m sorry if you think this is a fantasy Ireland which adheres to wants. My ideas derive from the ideas current in the United Kingdom.

  • gendjinn

    Am Ghobsmacht,

    At present, how does one separate the topic of a UI from SF?

    Don’t know, and it’s not my problem. Only you are in the position to something about it.

    You’ve been told quite clearly how SF make the UI idea a difficult pill to swallow for unionists, not just me.

    A pragmatist would address the issue a footsoldier/drone would just toe the line and carry on regardless.

    Your choice.

    It’s not my choice. It’s reality. SF are not going away and I’m not going to suggest to anyone that they should.

    This focus on SF is classic displacement activity and if ever such a miracle come to pass that SF are shut out of power you will invent another hoop that Nationalists will have to hop through to gain your support for re-unification.

    That’s OK with me. Nationalism will win the border poll within 20 years give or take a few and we won’t have to change the flag, anthem, or make any other BS compromises.

    If you don’t want to take the best terms you’re going to get it’s not my responsibility to convince you to.

  • gendjinn

    Alan N/Ards,

    You seem to be saying that unionists (the few) should know their place, Very Henry Joy McCracken of you. Not.

    Unionism is only free when everyone in society must be a unionist?

    Neither shocked, nor surprised. Gambling, establishment, shocked.

  • gendjinn

    Am Ghobsmacht,

    Which is more important:

    1/ A workable and realistic united Ireland

    2/ A fantasy Ireland that adheres to your wants.

    You are labouring under a major misapprehension – the 26 county state is a workable and realistic Ireland – extending that to include the 6 will piss of Unionists but it will still be a workable and realistic united Ireland.

  • Alan N/Ards

    gendjinn

    I’m afraid we will have to agree to disagree about what form a UI will take.. if it happens. At the end of the day you and I will not be on the negotiating team so don’t worry about it. You want NI to absorbed in the present republic and I don’t. How that can be resolved is beyond me?

    Maybe unionism will swallow hard and accept it and just circle the wagons. Unlikely, but you never know.

    Maybe unionism will come up with pragmatic leaders, who will convince people like you that we can do a deal on a new way forward. I have to admit that the present bunch doesn’t give me hope. Mind you, I do believe in the power of prayer.

    Republican politicians are playing a clever game and saying nothing. Is this because they have the same kind of thinking as you and Paddy but don’t want to show their hand? Maybe they have other ideas but don’t want to scare the foot soldiers. Time will tell.

    There could be interesting times ahead but, I believe that there are enough pragmatic politicians out there to work out a compromise that will keep the majority of the island happy. If this is the case, we will all be fine.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Alan N/Ards

    “Republican politicians are playing a clever game and saying nothing. ”

    I think they have been clear on most issues.

    The big issue is why did Unionism not fight for the rights of unionism which exists in counties such as Donegal.

  • Alan N/Ards

    McSlaggart

    I know that they are clear on wanting a UI, it’s how they intend to achieve it that is unclear.

    I’m not sure how unionism could have fought for the rights of unionism in Donegal after 1921. What say would a minority have had at that time. Probably none. It was unfortunate (probably an understatement) that they were left on their own at that time but I believe that a bloody civil war was halted by partition.

  • gendjinn

    Alan N/Ards,

    You want NI to absorbed in the present republic and I don’t. How that can be resolved is beyond me?

    Not sure why you are willfully misrepresenting what I said but whatever.

    I don’t need it to be resolved, YOU do, I will get a UI eventually, YOU will lose what little leverage you have to influence flag, anthem etc when you make us wait to win the border poll.

    Unionists continue to labour under the giant misapprehension that there will be a negotiation after the border poll is won, where unionism will get to demand sacrifices & changes by & to the Republic. Except once we’ve won the border poll we won’t need to compromise on a single thing.

    You keep telling us that simply extending the 26 to the 32 is not acceptable to Unionism and yet you do not take the only opportunity you have to avoid that outcome.

  • gendjinn

    I know that they are clear on wanting a UI, it’s how they intend to achieve it that is unclear.

    Through a border poll. Did you actually read the GFA?

  • Mc Slaggart

    Alan N/Ards

    “I’m not sure how unionism could have fought for the rights of unionism in Donegal after 1921. ”

    The British government under unionist pressure could have allowed their children to be British? Ulster Unionism just ignored their situation.

    Orange parades in Fermanagh have a strange quality with the bands from Cavan and Donegal attending. “Banquo’s ghost” is reflected in the lack of garden center unionism in the county.

  • Alan N/Ards

    gendjinn

    You and I are talking about two different things. You’re taking about the landmass and I’m talking about the people of the island.

    You can waffle all you want about will happen after a vote, but you will not be negotiating for the republic. I believe that common sense will dictate the outcome and your dream of unionists getting their comeuppance will be dashed.

    You have nothing to be afraid of if you compromise. I wish political unionism would have realised that a long time ago.

    When you make your enemy your friend, he is no longer your enemy.

    This is a lesson unionism should have learned many years ago. I hope republicans don’t make the same mistake that we made.

    End of conversation. Thanks

  • Alan N/Ards

    McSlaggart

    That’s a fair point. Maybe it could be sorted now.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Alan N/Ards

    “how they intend to achieve it that is unclear.”

    The simple fact is for most thing we already live in a unite Ireland. SF have achieved their objectives in the south much to my surprise.

    In northern Ireland neither sf or sdlp has achieved much. This is due to unionism taking a stand on the right of the people to march on roads.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    PaddyReilly

    “I’m sorry if you think this is a fantasy Ireland which adheres to wants. My ideas derive from the ideas current in the United Kingdom.”

    Touche!

  • Mc Slaggart

    Alan N/Ards

    “Maybe it could be sorted now.”

    I do not see any objection from “Nationalism”. Their was a point in the debate on people from from northern Ireland playing for Ireland in which the offer was made that Northern Ireland should be able to pick players from the south which was rejected.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    gendjinn

    ” SF are not going away and I’m not going to suggest to anyone that they should. ”

    I never suggested they should either, I suggested a new kid on the block.

    “This focus on SF is classic displacement activity and if ever such a miracle come to pass that SF are shut out of power you will invent another hoop that Nationalists will have to hop through to gain your support for re-unification.”

    That’s exactly what unionists say about SF whenever they object to some of their demands, that SF will produce more hoops (check Nevin’s comment over on the ‘Unionists!’ thread.)

    The hoops that I have presented are easy to jump through: an acceptable face for unification.

    At present the poster boy is Gerry Adams and this is detrimental to the cause of a united Ireland in the same way blinkered unionism is detrimental to the cause of the union.

    I see the TUV, DUP et al as the weakest link as far as the union is concerned, ergo the pragmatist within me would get shot of them all and replace them with something more presentable.

    Same applies for SF on the matter of being the sole bannermen for a UI.

    But, maybe another unification party will appear, stranger things have happened I’m sure.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Am Ghobsmacht

    “But, maybe another unification party will appear, stranger things have happened I’m sure.”

    Try this new party:

    http://sdlp.ie/

  • gendjinn

    Alan,

    You and I are talking about two different things. You’re taking about the landmass and I’m talking about the people of the island.

    I’m talking about the political entity. It is impossible to unite the people, you’ll just get 80% and that’s ok. Chasing the remaining 20% is fruitless, nothing less than rejoining the UK will satisfy them.

    You can waffle all you want about will happen after a vote, but you will not be negotiating for the republic. I believe that common sense will dictate the outcome and your dream of unionists getting their comeuppance will be dashed.

    If I wanted Unionism to get its comeuppance, I would just sit back and say nothing. The fact I’m willing to compromise on several items (just not ALL of your desires) and point out that you’ll get a better deal now than you will after losing the border poll.

    You have nothing to be afraid of if you compromise. I wish political unionism would have realised that a long time ago.

    BEING WILLING TO CHANGE THE FLAG AND THE ANTHEM IS FUCKING COMPROMISING. Because I won’t agree 100% with every single one of your demands you call me uncompromising?

  • gendjinn

    Am Ghobsmacht,

    SF is your emotional problem, obviously as you keep going on & on & on about it & ignoring every other substantial point – ie constitution.

    It is now 100% of your responses. There’s a lot more meat on the table if you are interested.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    gendjinn

    They do appear in all of my responses as they are the only obstacle as far as myself is concerned, in that they fly the flag for a UI.

    I don’t think I ignore the other points as I don’t really have any beef with them (much).

  • Alan N/Ards

    gendjinn

    If you think that giving unionism a few crumbs of the republican table is the answer, then there is no future for us on this island if a UI comes about. You obviously are taking your lead from the de Valera school of thinking.

    I don’t expect every unionist demand to be met. In the real world this doesn’t happen. I live in the real world. I would go the extra mile to live in peace and harmony. with my neighbour. If that means me having to accept a UI, then so be it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I will my allegiance to the state and giving a few crumbs won’t help.

    There is a real chance that a UI will come about in the next 20/30 years and I accept that. It’s probably too late for me to worry about it, as I’m in my mid 50’s, but my children and grandchildren will have to deal with it. I would want them to continue living here and play a part in any new state. Real compromise will help and is the only way. When a person fails to walk in his enemies shoes, he will forever have enemies.

    Unionism has made that mistake over many years. To our cost. I really don’t believe that nationalism will make the same mistake.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Alan N/Ards,

    You are correct.

    Unionists will be dealing with a Dublin government when it comes to forming a new Ireland state. And a Dublin government will just want peace and quiet and a normal relationship with the north of Ireland. That will probably include Ulster autonomy and letting people in the province decide their own affairs as much as possible.

    There is nothing for ordinary people to fear in a unified Ireland. The Protestant and Catholic children in Ulster born into a unified Ireland will never have known any different. The bigots on both sides will try to continue to cause problems, but if the country acts with one voice, they will be defeated.

  • gendjinn

    Alan N/Ards,

    you made a list – you got everything you wanted(flag, anthem, rejoining commonwealth, some form of Stormont, religion out of schools, etc) except NATO, TA Bases & British army recruiting. You refuse to detail your objections to constitution, law & Gardai, so can’t even begin a review on whether or not your request is realistic or not. But the flag, anthem, & everything else I think would be acceptable to the 26 are just crumbs. Well the flag & anthem are not just crumbs to the us. Now that we know they are just crumbs to you, you can take those off the table for change.

    Everything but NATO, bases & recruiting are crumbs and a UI is only acceptable if you can retain British army bases, force Ireland to give up neutrality and have a foreign power’s military recruit in our country.

    PaddyReilly was correct about you.

    I have learned that even those Unionists that have said they are open to a UI and made the moderate noises are not. In Alan’s case his list is just going to be long enough to include something he knows Ireland will not go along with, as soon as we don’t go along 100% with his entire list we are uncompromising, de Valeras :)

    Am Ghobsmacht,

    same boat. you insist on wasting hours debating your emotional problem with SF as if I could or would make any change to SFs political strength in NI. You completely ignore the fact that of the SDLP – they are a Nationalist non-SF party.

    You’ve included on your list SF, which will not be going anywhere, as you refuse to get past that, your vote is not up for a UI now or in the future. That’s fine. UI is inevitable within 20 years.

  • Alan N/Ards

    gendjinn

    All sides will be bringing their list to the table. You bring your flag and I’ll bring mine. You can bring your Garda and I’ll bring my Psni etc. You bring your neutrality and I’ll bring my NATO etc. That’s how it works.

    TA bases/ NATO might not be acceptable. That’s fine. I will get over it. The Garda might be a fine service but not suited to NI. You’ll need to get over that.

    You say that your flag and anthem are more than a few crumbs to you. I accept that. Do you think unionists feel differently about theirs?

    Thankfully neither of us will be at the negotiating table.

    ROC
    You are right. The sensible thing will be done by all sides. Unionism will need to accept the deal which is fair to all. The same goes to the people who see the republican way of doing things, as the only way.

    Erin go Bragh or something along those lines.

  • gendjinn

    Republic of Connaught,

    I think you have the attitude of the future Dublin govt (& Irish people) right.

    There’s a fallacy about that there will be negotiations on the shape of a UI after border poll. That’s not what the GFA commits the govts to. All they are committed to is how to effect the transfer of sovereignty.

    The logical fallacy is that people will be blinding voting for an abstract UI that is to be determined post poll. That is not true. There will either be a proposal on the table or it will be the existing 26.

    Once you have a democratic majority in both jurisdictions in agreement the negotiation is over but for the implementation details.

    Given I agree with your assessment of Dublin wanting a quiet life there will be some deal on policing, local assembly, increased regional autonomy. I don’t see any future 26 county government agreeing to the entire list of laundry demands Unionists have put forth just on this thread.

  • gendjinn

    Am Ghobsmacht & Alan N/Ards,

    thanks for the conversation. The bargains that I think are available today or in the future are not my personal preferred outcomes, they are what I think is politically feasible now & in the future.

    The other point is that Unionism will get a better deal today on their wish list, than they will in the future. This is not malicious, it’s pointing that out you have leverage now, after Nationalists are a majority in NI and vote yes in a border poll you will not. When I say that means no new anthem, flag, etc it is the plain fact of the GFA and the demand Unionism has made that the democratic will of Northern Ireland be sovereign.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Gendjinn:

    “I don’t see any future 26 county government agreeing to the entire list of laundry demands Unionists have put forth just on this thread.”

    Of course Dublin won’t blindly accept everything unionists want. But unionists will put forward things they know aren’t possible as part of the bargaining process. What’s clear is Dublin will be fair and accept that the six counties, or perhaps three of them, are different to other parts of Ireland because of the people on the ground.

    You acknowledge and respect those differences on the ground and find compromise that way.

  • Alan N/Ards

    gendjinn

    No one expects Dublin to accept everything unionism wants. Only a fool would think that it will happen.

    Sensible compromises are needed and I would say that the talking has already started and these compromises are being thrashed out between both governments. The other parties will be brought in, if and when the time is right.

    Unionism will be left with little or no choice. London will negotiate the best deal that they think is possible as they will be bankrolling it for at least a generation. Unionisms only other options will be fight or flight. Both options really don’t bear thinking about.

    The people of the south will vote through whatever deal their government does.

    I personally don’t believe that to much will change in NI about from Dublin having sovereignty. The Assembly will run NI. The PSNI will still be getting stick from both sides. My pension will be paid by London. Our children will still be educated separately. Young unionists will still be joining the British Army. The “marching season” will still raise its ugly head every Easter. The NHS will still be in place.

    Republicans can finally rejoice and pat each others back that the English have left and the war of attrition has ended. Can we still change the flag, please?

  • Alan N/Ards

    gendjinn

    I’ve reread your posts and I realise that I have been unfair in calling you uncompromising. For that I apologise.

    We will probably never agree on the way forward but whatever happens, let’s hope it’s peaceful and fair.