#SluggerReport: Time to leave Remainia, and wave goodbye to dreamy Reverse Greenland…

So, there’s been some bizarre stuff that’s happened since the UK narrowly, but decisively voted for Brexit. This morning I argued on the SluggerReport that the very unexpected nature of the result may have coloured an odd and confused response to the will of the people.

For my money, the best and most sympathetic analysis I’ve seen of what followed was Rafael Behr’s long-form piece in the Guardian today which comes up with this little gem for understanding what went wrong with the Remain campaign.

…over the course of the campaign, the most senior remainers found collegiate sympathy in a shared world view. As one put it: “We were the pluralist, liberal, centrist force in British politics.” Pro-Europeanism became a proxy for the fusion of economic and social liberalism that had been a dominant philosophy of the political mainstream for a generation, although its proponents were scattered across partisan boundaries. These centrists were the ruling class of an unrecognised state – call it Remainia – whose people were divided between the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems; like a tribe whose homeland has been partitioned by some insouciant Victorian cartographer.

Probably the most eloquent evocation of what ‘Remainia’ looks like from the inside is this typically elegant (but untypically angry) piece from one of my own personal heroes, Roy Foster…

At a meeting of 80 academic historians from all parts of the political spectrum at 11 Downing Street a few weeks ago, the sense of intellectual solidarity in favour of European membership was powerful and I was foolish enough to believe that these feelings would prevail. I cannot rid myself of the feeling that we have been living in a bubble.

In Ireland, north and south, it’s as though the grief and shock of the result caused political nationalism to lose the run of itself. The narrow win for Remain prompted Sinn Fein get out the old border poll card (with which reality soon caught up when they found no one was listening).

So it was that what began as a modest proposal to feed in ideas from pro Remainers (across the NI community) into the EU became a re-run of the divisive New Ireland Forum.  It lasted no more than 48 hours before Arlene Foster told the Taoiseach, thanks, but no thanks.

So who is Arlene Foster to tell those of us who voted remain to wise up? Well, first of all, she’s the First Minister of a powersharing Northern Ireland. Secondly, she had a good campaign, polling 15% above the figure her party got six weeks earlier.

That, of course, is not to gainsay Northern Ireland’s 56% figure for Remain. But the suggestion that it is some sort of licence to trigger a run for the exit, via something some have begun to call a Reverse Greenland will, in the long run, only undermine the interests of those who promote it.

It’s a great idea all but for one thing: it won’t work. There are three substantial political road-blocks. One, Arlene is against it, and not only is she a winner but she’s likely to become more (not less) popular by making the refusal.

Two, no UK government will wear it for the foreseeable future, especially not one now beholden to the DUP for holding the Brexit banner so high and loud in the campaign (not to mention finding the readies to pay for that four page Metro ad in London).

And three, even if NI could get past those first two, Spain will kill it dead at the Council of the European Union where it has the right to veto new members under a mechanism that could almost have been designed to destabilise its back yard. The UK will not prioritise it, and nor will the EU.

Indeed I’ve asked several friends who are in favour to explain how it would work, and none can provide a practical answer.

Paul Gillespie who unlike much of the Dublin media has been giving the matter much thought for a lot of the last three years thinks both parts of Ireland might have better things to prioritise during the negotiation period…

More far-seeing Irish nationalists who support unification are playing a longer game, awaiting the working out of structural and political tensions in the British state which they expect to fall their way.

Nonetheless the Brexit vote immediately raised scenarios of a united Ireland alongside an independent Scotland in international commentary, and this has fed back rapidly into the more cautious and surprisingly ill-prepared Irish public discourse.


  • MainlandUlsterman

    see my comment above on the fundamental flaw at the heart of old-style Irish nationalism – there is an innate ethnic chauvinism involved, even in the SDLP version. In the Hume years especially the SDLP attitude to the unionist population was at times a disgrace – and I’m being kind there. At the same time, on a practical level, the SDLP are decent representatives of C/N/R interests and people you can have a conversation with. If people voted only UUP and SDLP, I do think we’d be a much healthier society.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I lived in Dublin, I have a fair idea. But flying the flag for Ireland rugby matches still seems to stick in their craw down there. Some distance to travel still I think.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    The post-war German governments had no problem accepting the Nazis were wrong and should play no part in the German future. The Republican Movement by contrast is still there, poisoning the well with attempts to justify the slaughter. Germany could not have rebuilt on that basis.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    what, and we don’t know who we are? Do you not agree with the Good Friday Agreement that is people’s birthright to be accepted for the national identity they choose?
    I hope you’re not rowing back from the solemn commitment Irish nationalism made that day to change its tune towards British identity on the island …

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “And when I do put these points to other unionists they sometimes reply EXACTLY as you have (almost to the word in mainland Ulsterman’s case).”
    Can you clarify? Not sure what this is referring to.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    but, bottom line, they don’t attract many Prods, do they?

  • Kev Hughes

    Do you have the figures?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    well I do support the Irish language but must say it’s very much in spite of the efforts of SF, not because of them.

  • Skibo

    The French could have said the same about the Germans.
    So you will not accept Republicans. What do you suggest to do with them?

  • Kev Hughes

    Ahahahaha you’re too funny fella. You can be whatever you want, as much as I can question it, or are you trying to silence debate? You’ve a habit of that here. Should I expect the threat of legal action soon?…

  • Kev Hughes

    Your single transferable rant is all well and good, just don’t expect me to engage your near constant attempts to try and place it into everything you write. It’s already been largely debunked and you’ve shown an inability to even try and engage in points raised refuting your own.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’d be interested to know how I manage to silence debate: that would be quite a feat.
    If people don’t have counter-arguments, that’s their bad; or may possibly indicate I sometimes have a point.
    If you’re referring to me upholding Slugger rules banning ad hominem attacks, guilty as charged. Are you proposing another set of rules?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    the ad hominem stuff is tedious and not what Slugger is for, but can you produce any evidence for me not engaging in points raised? It seems an odd claim.
    You might also want to explain what exactly has been “debunked”.

  • Kev Hughes

    Simple English comprehension would note I said you ‘try’, otherwise, how else should I view your previous threats of legal action?

    As for the often haphazard policing of this place’s rules, you’re not an admin here last time I checked…

  • Kev Hughes

    Oh I agree on the first part. Debunked? That part about collusion and your rather shameful words saying you supported the families when you clearly never have and never will. Ciaran O’Connor showed you up there.

  • Skibo

    “which divorces the new Irish state from Ireland’s nationalist past”
    So what you want is an Ireland without a nationalist view?
    ” formal apology by Irish state for its complicity in anti-Britishness in the past”
    What does that infer?
    “strict laws to protect expressions of British culture and give it equal status with Irish culture” that might actually be a nice idea this side of the border in reverse.
    “proper compensation fund for all innocent victims of Troubles violence (i.e. none to terrorists or supporters of terrorism).”
    Would this include victims of state violence and exclude perpetrators of state violence?
    I take a very Irish guilty, British innocent slant to your requirements.
    That said, I believe alot of what you noted could be resolved under negotiations.
    I would include a commitment of a UI to rejoin the Commonwealth. Jupiter is not as far away as you think.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “showed me up”? You agreeing with him is not “showing me up”. All Ciaran did was claim I didn’t care about victims’ families, a claim for which he has no evidence and which you’d have to think me some kind of monster to believe. Just making such a claim is not “showing me up”, it’s the kind of scurrilous, non-evidence-based assertion that I hope most people reading Slugger would take as such.

    I’m not sure what your issue is with my posts on the collusion issue. I made observations and arguments on the issue that frankly no one has been able to gainsay. If you can show me an instance of where you think I have mis-spoken, I’ll take a look at that.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Oh and I must meet this Ness woman …

  • MainlandUlsterman

    No, the French couldn’t have said that about post-war Germany because post-war Germany denounced the country’s Nazi past.
    I will accept Republicans, I just won’t accept their defence of the IRA or any paramilitary violence.

  • Declan Doyle

    Ya she’s a lovely ol gal

  • Declan Doyle

    Not really, during the euros there have been plenty of England supporters on stag trips happily flying their flags around the city. Attitudes to England and Britain in general have been transformed in recent years. Oh you still have the anglophobic idiots peddling their venom but nothing on the level of yesteryear.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    That’s not to silence debate but to prevent people committing libel. Are you suggesting libel should be, somehow, tolerated on Slugger, or anywhere? You might want to share the opinion with the admins, they’ll be interested.

    Because in libel law, the medium by which a libel is transmitted can also be held liable, so they have to take it seriously. It’s why BBC lawyers are in the ears of panellists on HIGNFY, it’s to protect the BBC not the panellists.

    I’d suggest maybe getting some basic idea of libel law if you are keen on making factual assertions that may or may not be true about individuals on Slugger. I have a law degree so I kind of get it; I’m not convinced everyone on Slugger quite does. In reality going to court over libel, like going to court over most things, is a sledgehammer to crack a nut and rarely actually a good idea. But court or no court, just on a human level, it makes sense to respect libel law, which just recognises people’s right not have factual untruths published about them.

  • submariner

    Here is what you should expect in a United Ireland. The same rights and treatment as every other citizen. Nothing more and nothing less, anything else is a unionist masturbatory fantasy

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Of course rules would apply equally to all. We are discussing what sort of country and what sort of society it would be. This wouldn’t be special treatment for unionists, just normal treatment for unionists, no better or worse than nationalists would get.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    It was regarding my criticism of orange parades, you said something almost identical to Kev regarding them not doing what I would have them do.

    It certainly wasn’t a slight against you by any means, i’m struck by the similar language used by both sides some times.

  • submariner

    There should be no place for toleration of an orginisation or so called culture based on sectarian hatred in any modern society.

  • submariner

    I know, thats why I have pointed out your ridiculous Unionist wish list for the nonsense that it is

  • Kev Hughes

    Try all of your points on collusion, or the dusting off of the ‘a few bad apples’ argument. I could go into them and have in the past, but I’m bored with you now and don’t want to waste another afternoon of my life highlighting the inconsistencies of your arguments or the sheer hypocrisy of some points which I have before. If you would like to run over them again, just go to your notifications tab and look at everytime we have argued.

  • submariner

    By all means it should officially condemn the arming of the 1912 UVF and the implicit threat of defensive violence there was in that,

    Defensive violence? Would you care to explain how raising an illegal terrorist army to thwart the democratic will of parliament is defensive violence , i think the word you are looking for is treason.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “So what you want is an Ireland without a nationalist view?”
    I don’t want it at all. I’m talking about what nationalism would have to be talking about to be even respectful or on a level with unionists in how it talks about a united Ireland. It would have to be a place that did not feel nationalist, obviously. It would need to be something new that treated the nationalist past as the past.

    “formal apology by Irish state for its complicity in anti-Britishness in the past”
    It needs to acknowledge the kind of attitudes towards Britishness on the island that long held in Irish government and political circles – for example, look at the Henry Patterson work on Irish-British relations in the 70s and 80s, it’s pretty jaw-dropping. Dublin has moved on, but a formal acknowledgment of that would be necessary for the new state and a commitment to never again be ambivalent about the poison of Irish Republican extremism.

    “”strict laws to protect expressions of British culture and give it equal status with Irish culture” that might actually be a nice idea this side of the border in reverse”
    I agree with you.

    Would [victims’ compensation] include victims of state violence and exclude perpetrators of state violence?
    It would include victims of extra-legal state violence yes, but obviously not cases where the state was legitimately using force within the law, as any state would.

    “I take a very Irish guilty, British innocent slant to your requirements.”
    We’re talking about things that would be required to ensure the new Ireland was less galling to unionists, so of course the ones I mentioned are ones which address unionist issues. There would be other things too.

    “That said, I believe alot of what you noted could be resolved under negotiations.”
    No, I specifically said these were table stakes – that is, they get you into negotiations. But they would be themselves non-negotiable. They are just what you have to do at a basic level to get a hearing.

    Jupiter is very far away and is a “gas giant”, which means you can’t actually set foot on its surface at all.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    as far as I know, the UVF made no plans to attack anyone and did not make any attacks. Its drilling and holding of weapons was an implicit threat that they might use them if the Home Rule Bill was forced upon Ulster. I don’t approve of that tactic. But the reality was, the violence and mayhem carried out by the 1916 rebels was not reciprocated by unionists. Worth getting the facts straight.

    That’s not excusing the gun-running or anything like that, just pointing out the 1912 vintage UVF were not some kind of Protestant IRB, or IRA. Describing them as terrorists, for example, is just a misnomer. Perhaps they were potential terrorists, who knows, that can only ever be speculative – but they weren’t actual terrorists. It does seem odd to read some people on here writing about them as if they actually had planned or carried out terrorism. They did neither, as far as I know, but correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not expert on the history.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    but what did they actually do?

    And on your last para, yes of course – no one should be making calls to arms in our ethnic quarrel, ever.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I agree with that completely.

  • submariner

    I’m not expert on the history.

    Probably the biggest understatement ever to grace the pages of Slugger

  • submariner

    I look forward to your call for the disbandment of the Loyal orders and loyalist terrorist band scene

  • MainlandUlsterman

    you’ll have to do better than that. If you make specific allegations you need to adduce some specific evidence. It’s all here on Slugger so not hard to find. I note that you haven’t done that – all you’ve done is refer to some broad areas of discussion we’ve had without showing where I have been “debunked” or “shown up”. Perhaps it’s easier to sling around inaccurate insults than it is to back them up?

    I don’t want to go back through it either, it is tedious – so perhaps you can withdraw the comments you’re not prepared to back up and we move on? Or just accept that they are unfounded assertions and not an accurate representation of the conversations we had.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Well, that’s a united Ireland put to bed then 🙂

  • MainlandUlsterman

    so really have no excuse it seems. Did you skip defamation law?!

  • MainlandUlsterman

    shame some others aren’t quite so self-aware

  • MainlandUlsterman

    you don’t have to wait long on the latter:
    I hereby call for the disbandment of loyalist terrorist bands.
    I’ve actually been calling for that since I first saw one back in the mid-1980s.
    Disbanding the whole of the Loyal Orders though seems unwarranted and illiberal. I don’t support them but live and let live. They are not breaking any laws.

  • Paddy Reilly

    I’m surprised that you think that the unity of an entire island can be vetoed because it displeases a single non-resident. Are there any other countries which operate this system?

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I don’t think that.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    good to hear. But they still need to acknowledge indigenous Britishness on the island a bit better I think. Plenty of respecting the English “over there”, but a tendency perhaps to treat Britishness as if it comes from somewhere else? When Ireland play rugby in Dublin, it’s glaring.

  • Kev Hughes

    So, you skipped English comprehension then? Hmmmmm

  • Kev Hughes

    Actually, I don’t have to ‘do better than that’ as you don’t call the shots kiddo.

    I have nothing to retract, I merely state what you have done previously and believe you use it more as a tactic to try (there’s that word again that you had a mental block with before) to silence people with the threat of it. I know you don’t get this argument as you try to steer it to what libel is etc, but that’s a mere red herring.

  • mickfealty

    Not my phrase Mr Droog.

  • cu chulainn

    This article should be entitled “Wave goodbye to peace and prosperity”
    As for the 56%, this figure should be sufficient to keep us in the EU just as a smaller proportion of unionists is sufficient to keep us in the UK. The First Minister should act on behalf of the people of NI or resign.

  • Katyusha

    That’s quite a list, MU. I feel it betray a certain parochialism around NI, a sense of unwarranted self-imporatnce over what are essentially our own local issues, and a certain ignorance about what the current Republic is like and of the formation and constitution of states in general. And especially, a preoccupation with Troubles-era terrorism, when the reality is our sordid little conflict is not significant enough to have much of a bearing on the RoI, the UK, or the constitution of a new state. I imagine the response from both the RoI and the UK would be “The GFA was supposed to draw a line under that nonsense”, and “If you want to sort this stuff out, sort it out amongst yourselves”. And you’d be much more likely to draw this answer from Westminster and Whitehall.

    But it’s a fantasy list for a fantasy event, and it’s interesting, so I’ll work through it.

    Irish flag and national anthem would need to go – new ones needed, possibly incorporating British symbolism e.g. union jack

    Agreed that the flag and anthem will have to change. But I don’t think the union jack is going to be viable. Why? Because following the departure of either Ireland or Scotland from the UK, the Union Jack in it’s current form becomes redundant. If NI departs, the UK will be left with the very appealing 1707 version of the Union Flag : . If Scotland leaves, who knows?

    Regarding a new Irish flag, I’ve favoured a harp of some description on a plain background; either green like the flag of Munster, or blue like the old flag of the Kingdom of Ireland – which was, of course, an enitity of the Crown. But yes. No reason why we can’t include some British symbolism.

    completely new Irish constitution, which divorces the new Irish state from Ireland’s nationalist past.

    New constitution will be needed, yes. I’m not sure what you mean by “divorcing the state from Ireland’s nationalist past?” If it means divorcing itself from the actions of the Provisional IRA, then it’s not that relevant; the political establishment in the south always despised the Provisional IRA and would probably be offended by the mere suggestion that a gang of terrorist murderers would be regarded as important enough to have an impact on the constitution of the state. If you mean divorcing itself from the War of Independence, it’s not going to happen. No country should have to apologise for fighting for it’s independence. It’s all part of the state’s lore and history now, and water under the bridge with a civil war in the interim.

    – dismantle current Dail and all offices of of current ROI state

    Agreed, but it may turn out to be more of a formailty rather than an overhaul of state machinery. New structures arerequired; but given that the Republic’s current structures are much less dysfunstional than ours, the new offices will probably be operationally quite similar to their current ones. No point in dismantling an apparatus that actually works, or going through a pointless rebuilding of the civil service.

    – strong regional autonomy for Northern Ireland

    Agreed. A federal parliament, most likely.

    – formal apology by Irish state for its complicity in anti-Britishness in the past

    Laughable. For a start, you’re going to have to define what you mean by “anti-Britishness”, as it’s such a vague and simplistic idea. Secondly, if you mean Ireland fighting for it’s independence, it’s not going to happen. You won’t find a single country in the world that apologises for figthing for its independence, and rightly so. No-one should be expected to. Thirdly, relations between Irealnd and Britain have never been better. We are close econmic and political allies. If the state apparatus of both the UK and RoI can accept past animosity as water under the bridge, the views of a small population of Ulster unionists isn’t going to persuade them to reopen old wounds.

    – – retention of right to British citizenship and passports, right to be accepted as British enshrined in Irish constitution

    Agreed. To be extended to cititzens of the whole island, I’d argue. But this is a matter for Westminster. It’s up to them to decide who they recognise as citizens of the British state.

    – teaching of British history on a par with Irish history in schools throughout Ireland and teaching of Troubles history in all schools in Ireland without pro-nationalist bias – syllabus to be regulated by a panel of historians and approved by representatives of the unionist community as well as nationalist leaders.

    Agreed. But I am not sure what on earth you think they teach in “nationalist” schools! And also, I am very much against having anyone – anyone – from the political sphere having any influence in our education system. Let the people who set the exams review the syllabus. Politicians are neither qualified enough nor neutral enough to make decisions about specific details of education. Keep them as far away from it as possible. They deserve as much of a veto over the teaching of history as they do over the teaching of biology or mathematics.

    And “Troubles” history is only a very, very tiny part of the history of our two islands. And we need to teach German history, Russian history, American history as well. Like all history, it should be taught with an objective view.

    – teaching of ethnic awareness and strong clampdown against anti-British ethnic hatred

    Ehthnic awareness, yes. Replace “anti-British ethnic hatred” with simply “ethnic hatred”. Guaranteeing the rights of all citizens of the Rebublic is important. Protecting our ethnic minorities from racist abuse and violence is important. Satsfying your persecution complex is not.

    criminalise terrorist apologism, a la Holocaust denial in Germany.

    Disagree, on grounds of freedom of speech. The laws against far-right speech and symbolism in Germany are a long-obsolete product of their pathological fear of the far-right, and really should be revoked. They have no place in a modern democracy. Not that I’m against civil discourse, nor some whitewash for some particular walls throughout Belfast.

    — strict laws to protect expressions of British culture and give it equal status with Irish culture. Events like 12th July would have to be embraced as positive for the whole island and could be marked by the Irish government flying British flags and taking part in Orange parades in the centre of Dublin.

    Laws to protect expressions of British culture, yes. Unless you mean burning bonfires in residential areas which really should be banned on health and safety grounds, and properly organised events held in public spaces. But this is less to do with politics and more to do with celebrating our culture in a safe and dignified manner.

    The 12th would definately qualify for national observance and a public holiday. But the Irish government flying British flags and marching in Orange parades is a delusional fantasy. They might give you a short speech, but otherwise leave it up to you to do your own thing. As it should be.

    – Ireland to seek a new closer formal relationship with the rest of the British Isles, building on the east-west structures in the GFA – perhaps becoming an affiliate part of a wider ‘Atlantic Archipelago

    “Antlantic Archipelago”!. Your idea of a catchy name seems a little off!. But agreed. I’d say rejoining the commonwealth is pretty much a given, and possibly some separate, high-level -political/economic co-operative with both England and Scotland.

    – prosecution of all outstanding Troubles murders, whoever committed by

    Should be a given, really. I can’t see why this wouldn’t happen, regardless of other circumstances.

    – proper compensation fund for all innocent victims of Troubles violence (i.e. none to terrorists or supporters of terrorism).

    Again, should this not already be in place? Granted.

    – creating an offence of ‘glorifying an outlawed terrorist group’, punishable with heavy fines and being barred from public office.

    Doesn’t fit well with my views on the protection of free speech. But, agreed. At least insofar as being barred from public office is concerned. It has the added benefit of, at a stroke, ridding us of many of the more odious, useless and divisive Northern politicians. Good call.

    Those are just the ‘table stakes’..

    I’d helpfully suggest that you are significantly overplaying your hand. And wasting some useful cards on pointless tokenism which could be better employed securing leverage in a future state. I am struck by the complete lack of any economic measures, and also by the complete disregard for any official position for the British Army. There aren’t really any positive proposals for the structure of the new state; it’s mostly a set f reactionairy measured anchored in the Troubles; a conflict which is give-or-take twenty years in the past already. It will not be that relevent to future generations.

    Instead, there are many points which seem to be motivated by a desire to either make southern politicians accept some kind of guilt for the Troubles, and symbolic acts of subservience to proxy symbols of unionist Ulster; which have nothing to do with Britain in general.

    But it’s your wishlist, mate. Whatever makes you happy.

  • Skibo

    They terrorised Nationalists out of their homes. You really didn’t think that it only started in 1968.
    I remember talking to an uncle and aunt of mine who was able to tell me of an incident where every window was shot out of my Grandfathers home in an effort to make him move.
    I know of five young men shot outside Desertmartin.
    If you get talking to old Nationalists, you will find numerous similar stories.
    This is part of the nationalist history that you want remanded to the dustbin.
    Unfortunately it did happen.

  • Skibo

    MU you are still not accepting that the British Army did not move against the UVF. Had they done so there could have been one of two possible results.
    1) the UVF would have melted away into oblivion and we would have had a devolved parliament in Dublin. Redmond would not have been undermined and the rise of SF would have been stopped
    2) There would have been civil war on the streets of the northern counties. Would it have lasted any longer than the 1916 rising, we will never know as Westminster did not have the b@lls to do it.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Okay then… err Kevin.

  • Skibo

    Times they are achanging. The big ogre Irish government is not what it used to be. Unionists are quite comfortable travelling south of the border and after the Brexit vote, everyone wants a Paddy passport!

  • MainlandUlsterman

    The UVF melting away would not have removed its root reason for being there i.e. the determination of unionist people in Ulster not to have Home Rule. You’d still have had to deal with how to impose it and it would have been messy.
    Personally I’m glad no one had the balls to risk civil war by imposing a settlement on (proto-) N Ireland its people strongly rejected. It’s easy to suggest Home Rule would have been great, if only it hadn’t been for those pesky people who rejected it. That is how it was. And we found an honourable compromise. Nationalism today is the inheritor of the rejectors of that compromise. It shouldn’t play the wronged party.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I’m sure it did … not on a big scale though Skibo, surely (though I’ll need to check up, as it’s not something I’d read much about before, that’s why I’m assuming this probably wasn’t that extensive – though of course it’s no consolation to any poor sod at the wrong end of it). I’d be very surprised if it happened any more than happened the other way around all over Ireland, because of that there was plenty. I have a historian or two though staying over tonight, I’ll ask them over breakfast tomorrow perhaps.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    also where did you get that I did a Masters at Oxbridge? Untrue. Though not libellous 🙂
    I am more than a bit uncomfortable that you seem to be attempting to find out stuff about me personally that I haven’t chosen to share. (The inaccuracy is annoying but a side issue.) Someone else tried doing this a few years back. It is really unnerving, as you must realise – perhaps this is the intent? Given what some groups in N Ireland have done to their critics, you might be a bit more thoughtful before posting that kind of stuff.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    absolutely, it’s all good

  • MainlandUlsterman

    “our sordid little conflict is not significant enough to have much of a bearing on the RoI, the UK, or the constitution of a new state.”
    And you expect Northern Irish people to rush to embrace this wonderfully empathetic new Ireland?
    Will respond to other points shortly.

  • Kev Hughes

    I then apologise if that is not the case. I had thought I had seen when we created profiles on the old site that you had said you had a masters in Jurisprudence from an Oxbridge college. Clearly not.

    The rest is you being a tad over the top, seeing as my profile is linked to my FB page and I use my own name (not a criticism of those who chose not to) it would be easy enough to find details on most here and I am certain people know quite a bit about me.

    I will take it that you don’t actually mean to cast aspersions on my character here.

  • Katyusha

    I do not, MU. At least not while the Troubles remains in living memory of the majority of the population, and most definately not by any of the wishful processes laid out in the GFA. Why do you assume I would expect that to happen?

    It will pass out of living memory before long, and will be as relevent to future generations as our forefathers’ conflicts are to us. A constitution is a document which needs to be fit for use by our future citizens; there’s no reason to hold them hostage to our past.

  • Skibo

    The solution of the two states on the island of Ireland was always going to be a temporary solution. The final solution will be the reunification of Ireland. Where that state finally resides will be resolved in time.
    As for your point on a civil war, perhaps the resolve of the Unionist people may not have been so great had the British government stood up to them in time.
    There is no grand alliance demanding that the OO walk down the Drumcree road but at one time we all thought it would end in oblivion.
    The problem is Unionism has had its own way for so long that they believe their views are sacrosanct and should not be questioned.

  • Skibo

    I agree it probably wasn’t any more extensive as went on the other way round but as you believe there was plenty of Nationalism terrorising Protestants.

  • Skibo

    I though Reverse Greenland was actually a apt description.

  • Skibo

    Do you accept a people their right to fight for freedom or will you be protesting at the 4th of July celebrations also? Just my wee joke!

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It is indeed a “fantasy list for a fantasy event” and it should be taken in that spirit. I don’t expect or want any of it to happen. The whole exercise is ridiculous, which is kind of my point 🙂

    On your comments, as briefly as I can:
    Flag and anthem – we seem agreed on that in principle. New ones needed.
    New constitution – ” If you mean divorcing itself from the War of Independence …” Yes I do … “it’s not going to happen.” Fine, I expected that aspect of a united Ireland would be too difficult for Irish nationalists to stomach. Great, we don’t have to have a united Ireland after all. “No country should have to apologise for fighting for it’s independence.” But this would not be that country, one that defined itself against the British. This would be a new country, one with British people an integral part of it. The old “nationalist Ireland” stuff around the state would have to go.

    Dismantling current Dail and all offices of current ROI state – we’re basically agreed that would be necessary.

    Strong regional autonomy for Northern Ireland – also agreed

    Formal apology by Irish state for its complicity in anti-Britishness in the past – you’re right we’d need to be more specific, I was being a bit vague there. It’s really about the anti-British tone and rhetoric of the Irish state for much of the last century and signalling a clear departure from that mindset, one in which Ulster Protestants were really demonised to a large extent.
    Relations between the Republic and the UK are much better now for sure – but this new all-Ireland state would be something quite different. The challenge wouldn’t be Dublin getting on with London but forming a viable partnership between the two national groups on the island. It would require both Irish and British on the island swallowing deeply uncomfortable changes to their ideas of their nationality and what it means to be British or Irish or both. Nationalists should not kid themselves they’d be able to cruise on with the old casual Brit-bashing stuff in that new environment – they would have a new responsibility.

    British citizenship and passports etc – agreed.

    Teaching of British history on a par with Irish history in schools throughout Ireland and teaching of Troubles history in all schools in Ireland without pro-nationalist bias
    “I am not sure what on earth you think they teach in “nationalist” schools!” Puh-lease … I saw some the school texts when I was a kid, they tried them on us. Incredible stuff.
    But I do share your misgivings about the politicians being involved – just that the pro-union community would want some guarantee we weren’t going to be ethnically scapegoated as before in school texts.

    I agree on the teaching of a broad history in as objective a way as possible.

    – teaching of ethnic awareness and strong clampdown against anti-British ethnic hatred
    Fine for it to cover other ethnic groups too of course. But the focus should be on the two main ones. Your phrase “satisfying your persecution complex” suggests we do indeed have something to worry about in terms of ethnic bullying from nationalists in this new Ireland.

    Criminalising terrorist apologism – you could argue it worked very well in Germany. I get that it’s a deprivation of free speech for fans of terror, but you know what, I think it’s worth the sacrifice.

    Laws to protect expressions of British culture – we basically agree. “But the Irish government flying British flags and marching in Orange parades is a delusional fantasy.” If they really embrace it, then why not? They can’t pay lip service to accepting Orange culture then hold their nose at it. But yes I know they would be very unlikely to. Not my delusion though, I’m not an Irish nationalist.

    Agreed on the cross-sea structures. “Atlantic Archipelago” isn’t my idea, and I was avoiding British Isles, but obviously I’m more comfortable with British Isles, if you are 🙂

    Prosecution of all outstanding Troubles murders, whoever committed by – agreed.

    Proper compensation fund for all innocent victims of Troubles violence – agreed.

    Criminalising ‘glorifying an outlawed terrorist group’ – agreed.

    Those are just the ‘table stakes’… like I say these points would not be part of a negotiation but a starting point.

    You say “there aren’t really any positive proposals for the structure of the new state” – no but the question was about what a putative united Ireland would need to do for unionists to get the respect of unionists as an idea, even if they still wouldn’t go for it. It’s got a lot about Troubles legacy in it because that’s what is most important to many unionists.

    “But it’s your wishlist, mate.”
    No, it isn’t. I don’t want any of it. I’m just flagging up some of the stuff I think nationalism has to wear if it’s serious about a new all-Ireland state. I don’t think nationalism can really accept half that stuff – and my list is just one idea of the entry fee for nationalism.

    My over-arching point is – a united Ireland could be very, very difficult and uncomfortable for many Irish nationalists. Irish nationalism itself would need to change beyond recognition.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I have a B.A. from Oxford in Law. The only post-grad I’ve done was the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law when I was doing my solicitors’ training, but to be honest it was more like O Levels.
    Thanks for apologising – forgive me for being a bit freaked out when people quote stuff about my life that I haven’t shared and isn’t true. To be fair, not as scary as the last guy who was naming my former employers etc … I was livid.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    No one ever got far by underestimating the resolve of unionist people – or imagining our stances depend on support from outside. Completely not how we are.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I want all people to have their freedom, including British people. I just don’t want people dying for something that could be achieved peacefully.

  • Kev Hughes

    Nothing to be forgiven for, fully understand it fella.

    I just remembered the profile as most others were fairly anodyne tbh, yours was quite specific in a field of vagueness.

    I’m a QUB man (disliked it intensely), UUJ post grad and NY Bar 2009. Funny you say that if the LPC, a solicitor at the firm I worked at when a paralegal said much the same ‘it’s the only qualification I won’t put on my CV’, but it’s a requisite nonetheless.

  • Declan Doyle

    Maybe you were not in croke park the first time GSTQ was sung for an Ireland England game. It was exhilarating and your Anthem was sung with gust to an Irish crowd that stood tall and respectful. Your image of how the Irish view Britain/England etc is quite dated.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It was sung for England though, not the British players on the Irish team. I found it quite funny, they thought they were being so generous … a long way for them to go still. a long way.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    just such a great flag. Sorry I have a Sheldon Cooper streak on flags.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The flag is upside down … ergo “Reverse Greenland”

  • Sir Rantsalot

    I expect its quiet because since the brexit vote has been won, there is no need to keep countering remain rubbish.
    A drop in the pound has made doing business for exporters much better. Over time the pound goes up and down and benefits importers or exporters. Do you have a beef with this?