With Brexit fever, lies,lies and damned polls

Lucid Talk have been conducting a curious self selecting exercise in the  Belfast Telegraph and finding that, as Lucid Talk’s Bill White explains,

“The poll is currently running at 75% Yes to a border poll, and 70% Yes to a United Ireland, and I don’t need to tell you that common sense, and history, tells us that this is obviously not representative of Northern Ireland.

Polling companies like ours are ‘easy’ with these ‘self-selecting’ polls as they’re known – i.e. just allowing anyone who wants to, to take part, as most people see them for what they are i.e. a bit of fun.

They can, however, give a very rough approximation as to current general feeling – in this case, it shows the EU referendum result has increased interest in the border poll debate, as a response of 50,000 is pretty high.

Maybe – “rough approximation”  indeed, if you don’t suspect a write-in even to a paper still with a unionist majority readership and are satisfied with “a bit of fun -.” to stir up the trolls maybe? Or pointless?

Meanwhile, a real poll in the Republic covered by the journal.ie has found that big majority would back a united Ireland if a referendum was held tomorrow.

The Paddy Power/ Red C research has found that 65% would vote in favour, an increase from a similar poll conducted by Red C for the Sunday Times in 2010 that showed support at 57%.

While in Scotland the latest  YouGov poll  show how wise Nicola Sturgeon is to keep her options open. Stripped out of don’t knows, this poll suggests opinion hasn’t moved since the 55:45 for Vote No in the referendum two years ago.

One month after the UK’s shock decision to leave the EU, the latest YouGov research in Scotland shows no real shift towards independence. Were another Scottish referendum to be held tomorrow, Scots would vote to remain in the UK by 53% to 47%. The results represent a move to the independence option of just 1% since YouGov last asked the question in early May.

Even the guarantee of an independent Scotland being able to remain in the EU doesn’t move public opinion in favour of independence.

Fully 46% of Scots say that they would rather live in a Scotland that was still part of the UK post-Brexit, against 37% who would rather live in an independent Scotland that remained in the EU. (These numbers translate to 55% vs 45% once don’t knows are stripped out).

Support for the union is buttressed by the fact that 43% of those who voted to Remain in the EU last month want Scotland to stay in the UK after Brexit.

Adds later..

Other polls tell a different story and the Scottish press are going with the flow, according to media commentator Roy Greenslade.

Polls reported by two newspapers at the weekend suggest she might conceivably win a majority among the Scots for secession.

The Glasgow-based Daily Record carried a post-Brexit poll on Saturday that found 54% of Scots voters would vote yes to independence.

The following day the Dundee-based Sunday Post highlighted a survey conducted on its behalf had found 59% in favour of independence.

What was most noticeable, however, was the way in which those poll findings were reported. The Record, previously steadfast for maintaining the union, appeared to support a move towards independence with its “EU go girl” front page headline.

And its editorial was enthusiastic about the notion by arguing that Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, was “right to raise the prospect of a second IndyRef”.

 

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  • Anglo-Irish

    That was never going to happen at that time, civil war would have broken out.

    Until Brexit happened I always said that it would take thirty years, time enough for those involved to have left the scene and time for the younger generation on both sides to recognise the opportunities rather than dwell on the differences.

    Brexit may change that,it may not but events bring about change including unintended consequences.

    And as you discovered the English are totally relaxed about NI leaving the UK, it’s not something they lose sleep over or indeed spend much time thinking about at all.

  • kensei

    The initial polls had it at approximately 55-45 for independence. This could be reversion to mean, but it could also be an outlier or a leading question. Really need to see a longer term picture.

    The UK Government response is clearly to try and delay though, and hope passions cool. The difficulty is that if the Scottish government does force another referendum, there will be a lot of uncertainty about the UK state as well as the proposed Scottish one. I was certain that No would win the last referendum (but surprised by how narrow the victory was) but if there is another one, i think it’ll be a lot more of a toss up and campaign driven.

  • Anglo-Irish

    It’s still rare, if you think that you’re living in a true democracy you need to think again.

    It’s got better but there’s still huge room for improvement.

  • billypilgrim1

    The Agreement states:

    ‘…it is for the people of the island of Ireland alone, by agreement between the two parts respectively and without external impediment, to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of CONSENT, FREELY AND CONCURRENTLY GIVE, NORTH AND SOUTH (my emphasis), to bring about a united Ireland, if that is their wish…’

    This only means that consent must exist concurrently, north and south. It doesn’t necessarily mean that referendums have to take place on the same day. If the north had a successful referendum, and in response the south had one six months later, this would satisfy the Agreement’s requirement of consent being given concurrently.

    This is probably how it’ll play out. After all, there’s no point in the south having a referendum unless there has already been a Yes vote in the north.

  • Croiteir

    I would expect so. And that is fine. In my mind you take it in logical steps. First the agreement by both sides to unite. The north votes to join the south. The south agrees to accept or not the wish of the north. I would presume based on historical polls to date that would be affirmative. Then the talks begin as to what if any changes need to be made to the Irish constitution.

  • billypilgrim1

    Indeed. The Agreement states:

    “…the Secretary of State SHALL (my emphasis) exercise the power under paragraph 1 if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.”

    This makes clear that if it appears likely there’ll be a pro-UI majority, the SoS MUST call a referendum. It absolutely does not mean a referendum cannot be held under any other circumstances.

    It does not create an impediment to the SoS calling a referendum. It creates an impediment to the SoS welching out of one if it appears likely to be successful. There really isn’t much room for confusion, if you read the actual wording.

    It’s like the old have-to-call-another-one-every-seven-years myth – very hard to know why people keep repeating this obviously-false canard.

  • Croiteir

    I believe you are touching on an important point here. To me the secession of Ireland is quite a different kettle of fish to the break up of the union between England and Scotland.

  • eamoncorbett

    Politics in NI is already destabilised by the participating parties , I can’t see how a unionist victory in a border poll could do further damage . No matter what the result of such a poll the constitutional issue will continue to plague the province , it has done since 1922 , every election is fought on the issue , the political make up of Stormont was created on this issue. The GFA could be approaching its end if this all or nothing constitutional deadlock is not tackled .
    The border hangs over Northern politics like a thundercloud , always threatening ,and even if removed would still leave substantial numbers disconcerted .
    The problem needs to be looked at in a new light post Brexit.

  • eamoncorbett

    In this new region of UKNI , which Is bordered by EUROI , does a democratic vote of its citizenry count for anything , and please don’t give me the UK answer , just give me the UKNI answer , if your answer is no then what the hell does devolution mean ?

  • Skibo

    Rodger, I think you underestimate the authority the ROI has within the GFA and before it in the Anglo Irish Agreement.
    The UK accepted they had to consult ROI to come up with any kind of solution for NI.
    Ian Paisley stated in an interview that he was threatened with Joint Authority if he didn’t make Stormont work. That is the next step unless we miss it out and go straight to reunification and a new Ireland.

  • Hugh Davison

    Indeed. To most of them it was a complete no-brainer.

  • Skibo

    What is your point? What do you believe should be the starting pistol for a border poll?
    I would like the ability to chose between leaving the EU with the UK and remaining in the EU with ROI with a certain amount of joint authority for a limited time span.
    Failing that I believe should the Unionist grouping fall below 50% or their vote fall below 50% there should be a border poll. 2021 census should provide some interesting reading if we are still in the UK at that time.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    At least they are all up on that hill dishing out the crumbs. I can assure you about my meaning of destabilisation – I think it would be worse than the troubles ! A lot of people still are putting their blinkers on and don’t wish to see the hatred that exists in them back streets of Belfast. That poison is going to take generations to heal.

  • grumpy oul man

    Well i would say concurrently is the way it will happen, Having one , one week and one a week later would be a bit silly.
    Both will take place on the same day, that way the results come in together and that would be that.

  • grumpy oul man

    but you did repeatably!

  • billypilgrim1

    That’s entirely possible, you may well be right.

    My point is simply that the wording of the Agreement does not require it.

    I also think there’s a strong argument that there’s no point in putting the question to the southern electorate until such times as there has been a Yes result in the north. And there’s nothing in the Agreement to preclude this.

  • grumpy oul man

    by the same argument there would be no point putting the question to a vote in the north if the South had already voted no!
    So i see no other way in which both electorates would get to exercise their franchise unless both voted on the same day,

  • grumpy oul man

    to exercise their right of self-determination on the basis of CONSENT, FREELY AND CONCURRENTLY GIVE, NORTH AND SOUTH

    This would mean concurrently, IE, both at the same time.
    A six month break between the two referendums does not mean concurrently.
    Concurrently means at the same time, sorry but that is what the dictionary says and it is how a court would interpret it.
    It is really hard to see any way round that and still be using the English language.

  • grumpy oul man

    Will UKS and UKW and UKE plus UKIOM come into existence any time soon 😉

  • billypilgrim1

    “This would mean concurrently, IE, both at the same time.”

    If the north has a successful referendum now, and the south follows suit next month, then this would satisfy the Agreement’s requirement for consent being given freely and concurrently. I take your point that the wording might be taken to imply that the two referendums would be held on the same day, but it doesn’t actually make that a requirement.

    “A six month break between the two referendums does not mean concurrently.”

    These would clearly not be concurrent referendums, but that’s not what either I or the Agreement said. The Agreement talks about consent being given concurrently. If I consent to something today, whereas you sleep on it, then come back tomorrow and give your consent, then tomorrow, our mutual consent would be concurrent.

    “Concurrently means at the same time, sorry but that is what the dictionary says…”

    I know what concurrent means. But my point is that the Agreement does not mention referendums – it mentions consent.

    In fact, the Agreement does not even require that the south even has to have a referendum – there’s nothing in the Agreement itself that would preclude Dáil Éireann simply legislating for it. (Bunreacht na hÉireann does preclude this, but th GFA doesn’t.)

    “…and it is how a court would interpret it.’

    It’s possible, I suppose, but I doubt it.

  • billypilgrim1

    by the same argument there would be no point putting the question to a vote in the north if the South had already voted no!

    Technically, I suppose you are right. But of course you know that it’s the north which is the site of contention, and the realpolitik dictates that it’s from here that the initial move must come.

  • eamoncorbett

    The opinion polls in Britain got the figures for the Brexit poll dead on 48 to 52 , the little matter of the actual result , well maybe next time.

  • billypilgrim1

    Polls are interesting, but should always be read with care.

    It’s important to remember that although opinion polls innocently present themselves are instruments for measuring public opinion, they are every bit as much instruments for influencing public opinion, as measuring it.

    I do sometimes wonder why pro-UI forces don’t commission some polling on this. I have no doubt one could conduct a poll or two showing a pro-UI majority, if one wanted to, with at least as much robustness and credibility as the pro-UK ones that we are treated to from time to time.

  • grumpy oul man

    While i agree the dynamic for a ref on the border will come from the north as is right and proper.
    I really so no other way to do the votes on the same day.
    Even if six months apart the campaigns will be running in both regions at the same time and both jurisdictions would be working on setting up the apparatus for the vote.
    A successful vote in one area would have a knock on effect in the other area if they were to be held on different dates.
    sorry it say concurrently which means at the same time and i think there are good reasons for that.

  • grumpy oul man

    “being given concurrently”, which means consent been given at the same time.
    If they meant anything else they would have worded it different. something along the lines off,
    after consent being given in both the ROI and NI by referendums.
    but it says concurrently which is very specific.

  • billypilgrim1

    I imagine the dispute we’re having now is what the dispute among the lawyers will be like. I suppose the question here is whether the giving of consent is a static event, or an ongoing one.

    Even marriage vows wouldn’t meet your strict definition of concurrence.

  • Roger

    You referred to many republicans not voting etc. I then made a point that was plainly intelligible and relevant. I could not make that point any clearer than I have.

    Separately I think an majority assembly vote calling for sovereignty polls plus a majority Dail vote calling for sovereignty polls would be clean, but objective and fair.

    It’s 18 years too late to talk seriously of joint authority. That isn’t an option under the GFA.

  • Roger

    Someone else here recently cited Martin mansergh’s account of to Tony Blair on the total unacceptablity of joint authority or any diminution in UK sovereignty. I think that’s all so clear I’m not excited about exploring the topic.

    As regards sovereignty the only thing GFA did was end Irish claims and make the legal requirements (dual referendums) for territorial change more onerous than before.

  • Roger

    I’m not exactly sure what I’m being asked.

    If it’s about Brexit, I can only give you what I assume you mean by the UK answer ~ as part of UK, UKNI must go with the UK flow.

    EUIRL is bordered by EUUK and soon will be bordered by plain old UK. Or maybe EEAUK…time will tell.

  • Roger

    On first para around “need”. Well that of course depends on one’s objective. On UK side, there’s no problem with a process that leaves the UK in control and IRL on the back foot. And vice versa. If a balanced approach is what’s really intended by both sides, the current mechanic is dismal for IRL.

    On second para: Independent panels aren’t exactly new ground for UKNI. Remember the Boundary Commission? Remember the Decommissioning panel?

    Nothing terribly complicated is needed. A binding international agreement between UK and IRL providing that either can give notice to the other that they regard the circumstances as requiring sovereignty votes in both jurisdictions as applicable and triggering the pre-agreed mechanics for establishing the independent panel to determine if there should indeed be those votes. Of course there’s no need for the panel if they both agree. As to composition of the panel, well there are any number of possibilities. From IRL’s perspective, one would hope they’d negotiate something a little more balanced than the Boundary Commission though.

    Beyond that, as regards either party not honouring the agreement we are in the same territory as with any other international agreement.

  • Roger

    We don’t agree about what courts do either.

  • Roger

    They are military bases. Sovereignty is with UK yes, but only as regards them being military bases. They aren’t in the same category as Malvinas or Bermuda etc. they are not comparable.

  • Roger

    We ought to stop talking about a poll singular.

    By law the process must involve concurrent polls in IRL as well as UKNI.

  • billypilgrim1

    “By law the process must involve concurrent polls…”

    No, the GFA stipulates that CONSENT must be concurrent, which isn’t quite the same thing as saying the referendums have to happen on the same day.

    Of course they MAY be, but it’s not a cast-iron requirement.

  • eamoncorbett

    Why give a region power and then ignore its wishes , too much power at Westminster.

  • Oggins

    So why do you not refer to Scotland, England and Wales in the same manner?

    Not trolling, an honest query.

  • Devil Eire

    “where did you pick up UKNI”

    He got it from the arch-partitionist NMS, who presumably saw a value in pre-pending ‘UK’ to ‘NI’ in order to reinforce the point that NI is part of the UK. Why exactly this appeals to Roger is less clear.

  • NotNowJohnny

    It seems to me that what you are actually proposing is to set aside that part of the British Irish agreement which deals it’s the issue of the poll and replace it with another. What you appear to be suggesting is replacing the provision in the agreement whereby the UK SOS, and only the UK SOS, gets to determine whether the conditions for a poll have been met and replacing it with a provision which could, in reality, prevent the UK SOS having any say whatsoever in whether a poll is carried out. That is, if the Irish government decided that the conditions for a poll had been met and the UK disagreed that the conditions for a poll had been met, then it would be over to the international forum to decide.

    I’m not sure why you think the UK would be prepared to reopen an international treaty which was so hard won to make provision for such a fundamental change which is so disadvantageous to it. Both governments signed the agreement; why would the UK government agree to such a change? If the Irish government were unhappy with the provisions as regards the calling of a poll then they could have refused to sign the agreement. However I expect that as Northern Ireland is constitutionally part of the U.K. the calling of a poll was deemed to be a matter for the UK government to decide and I expect it would have been difficult for the Irish governmen to argue with that. I doubt the unionists would have been very happy with the Irish government being able to determine the timing of a poll without the consent if the UK government. So politically it’s a non runner. A bit like the Boundary Commission to which you refer ultimately became.

  • eamoncorbett

    They’re all on the way, keep an eye on this space , for my part i was just kidding in order to provoke a response.

  • Roger

    I’ve never suggested the UK would agree to any of it. Quite the opposite. I said “the Irish accepted the terms of the GFA and are stuck with it”.

  • Roger

    It’s a very fair question.
    Generally my little contributions here don’t concern England or Scotland. They don’t interest me as much. The discussions about those jurisdictions* tend to be different too. Northern Ireland has a slightly unwieldy name. We all know it’s very often abbreviated as NI. Northern Ireland is, in this forum, often discussed as if it were a sovereign state or under some kind of UK/IRL condominium. I don’t think anything comparable really crops up for the other 2 jurisdictions*. The benefit of the extra two letters in this context is obvious. Sentences that don’t look so silly look quite so when UKNI instead of NI is used.

    For clarity I have no problem in principle with using say UKENG or UKSCO. They seem perfectly valid acronyms to me.

    *whether England can be called a jurisdiction depends really on the view one takes on the status of Wales.

  • Roger

    Didn’t the GFA prescribe the exact form of wording for article 3 of the constitution of Ireland? Am I correct in that? Art 3 can only be read as requiring a referendum in IRL. As that’s part of the GFA too, I don’t agree with your interpretation.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Yes, but I feel given there are 21 other NATO members and a sympathetic Republic of Ireland, the issue of these regions being kept outside the EU pretty much comes down to the UK. It might be easier to acknowledge that more than say Gibraltar or Northern Ireland.

  • billypilgrim1

    Roger

    “Didn’t the GFA prescribe the exact form of wording for article 3 of the constitution of Ireland? Am I correct in that?”

    Yes, I believe you are correct in that.

    But the exact wording of Article 3 says that: “a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island.”

    One could certainly argue that requirement for the ‘democratic expression’ of the ‘consent of a majority of the people’ in the south could be met by a vote in Dáil Éireann.

    After all, who will gainsay the right of a parliamentary democracy to insist that the decision of its parliament is the ‘democratic expression’ of the majority?

    You’re right that one can interpret Article 3 as implying the need for a referendum, but that’s certainly not the only interpretation – in fact I believe it’s too much of a stretch to say that the GFA actually requires it.

    But my point here is strictly technical. I believe there would have to be a referendum in the south – but this would be a political requirement, not a legal one.

    But the same does not hold true in the north, as the GFA contains other sections dealing with a northern referendum.

  • Oggins

    Disagree, England and Scotland in particular with Brexit, referendums etc are regularly discussed here and on the thread. As in the title of the thread.

    Is Northern Ireland unwieldy ? In the day of predictive text. NI is really easy to type.

    NI is not a sovereign state, we all know that, but there is about nearly 100 years of disagreement on its Sovereignty. We will never change that.

    I suppose what I am trying to say us that it’s takes away from your posting, when you apply this logic and do not apply it universal.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Ok. Although I would say that I have seen nothing yet which indicates that the Irish government has any issue with the arrangements as they stand.

  • grumpy oul man

    No i don’t think they would be concurrent It means two or more things
    happening at the same time,
    you cant get away from that sorry

  • grumpy oul man

    OK, why do you think that lawyers use precise language with precise meanings when contracts are drawn up.
    Sorry Roger i know you would like it to be different, but that is the way the world is,

  • Roger

    Yes indeed. They signed GFA and haven’t raised the matter yet. I speculated in earlier post that I doubt they did in the GFA negotiations either. They were outclassed I’d say.

  • Roger

    I didn’t say UKENG and UKSCO aren’t discussed here. I said I don’t tend to discuss them much. Northern Ireland is sufficiently unwieldy that people often use an acronym for it. NI. I use UKNI for the reasons I’ve mentioned. Certainly since 1999 there is nothing no legal dispute about sovereignty over UKNI. England and Scotland don’t attract the same sort of comment. All the more reason the acronym I use makes sense.

  • Roger

    Consider Crotty v An Taoiseach. I don’t agree with you that there is any doubt that a referendum in IRL is required.

  • Roger

    They have a unique status. They are military bases subject to restrictions on how the UK can exercise sovereignty under binding international treaties. The UK does not have the same freedom of operation in the two bases as it has in say Bermuda etc.. They are not useful comparators.

    Beyond that I probably don’t understand your point.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I was just wondering how integrated they would remain with EU Cyprus, post Brexit, probably more so than Gibraltar and Northern Ireland.

  • Reader

    billypilgrim1: I have no doubt one could conduct a poll or two showing a pro-UI majority, if one wanted to, with at least as much robustness and credibility as the pro-UK ones that we are treated to from time to time.
    Well, there’s this:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ninety-two-per-cent-favour-united-ireland-in-local-poll-1.1406844
    However, the methodology suggests they aren’t as confident as you about what can be achieved.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    65% in ROI want NI….. I guess they are desperate for a few more people to help pay off their massive debts and share in their public service cuts and extra taxes.

  • Oggins

    My point is that you don’t apply your terminology evenly. I think it’s slightly old school, in the never, never, never, stick a fleg on it type approach. I really don’t see the point. Not even the SOS, prime minister or first ministers apply that logic of UKNI.

    What I am trying to say is that using pointless (my opinion) UK in front of NI subtracts away from your points. If the question or thread was on sovereignty. We allow know the political agreements. Whether people agree or disagree is besides the point. It comes across slightly insecure, and people more focus on the logic of the application rather than the comments. It would be like me referring to Unionism as Irish Unionists. There is no added benefit.

    What I want to clarify is even though I disagree with your political opinion, your one of the few from anyside that does not go all The mun’s, when people respond.

    I suppose what I am trying to say is be secure in using NI, using UKNI adds no benefit to discussions

  • Oggins

    Troll

  • Hugh Davison

    ‘share in their public service cuts and extra taxes’. That’s the UK you’re talking about, isn’t it?

  • Croiteir

    I don’t think that the courts here are able to deal with a treaty between two sovereign states. As they themselves stated in the case in the 1950s concerning territorial waters.

  • Roger

    Well I don’t think we are going to agree. Application of terminology evenly: like I said, UKNI is the only one of the three whose position as regards sovereignty is regularly questioned/ignored, perhaps even lied about; I don’t talk about the others much; plus I agree that the acronyms could validly be used for them too.

  • NotNowJohnny

    You don’t think the UK courts can consider a challenge brought in relation to the Northern Ireland Act 1998?

  • Skibo

    Your point on running a government only based on those who vote is legal and acceptable. To assume that the voting rates of the region on the subject of sovereignty can be gauged on the same percentages as those for a devolved assembly that some Republicans will not recognise is not a true comparison.
    A majority of such a house as a decision making power for calling a border poll will not include this diaspora.
    The drop of the Unionist representation to 50% or less should be enough.
    Should the GFA fail at any stage, the automatic fallback position should be joint sovereignty and not direct rule .

  • Skibo

    Martin Mansergh:
    He predicted plan B would involve the Irish and British governments closing down many existing institutions.

    The governments will take charge of north-south cooperation and will move beyond the “care and maintenance” agenda they have operated in recent years.

    “It is about such cooperation not in support of any political project but simply if it’s in the economic and social interests of the two parts of Ireland,” he said.”
    So joint government in everything but name. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, well you know where this is going.
    Before the GFA there was no legal framework for the reunification of Ireland.
    After the GFA, there is. All peaceful and legal. We just have to get down to the heavy work of proving to Unionism what is quite obvious to economists. The best future for the people of NI lays within a New Ireland, possibly with an enlarged Stormont, let Donegal in!

  • Roger

    I didn’t understand how the first two paras relate to what we had been discussing.

    I don’t agree that there was no legal framework for a UI before GFA. Check out the (UK) Ireland Act 1949. It expressly provided that there would be no change in the status of UKNI without the consent of the UKNI parliament. That means even then, as in 1920 Act too, change was possible and permissible. GFA has changed the exact method. Instead of it being possible for consent to be given by a few dozen parliamentarians in Stormont, the process must by law involve millions of voters across 2 different jurisdictions. I think the 1949 framework was a bit easier for those in favour of a UI.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    you could go on actual assembly election results; but you need polls as well, because a high number of people voting for ‘nationalist’ parties do not want a united Ireland any time soon. Sec of State can decide whether a poll is credible and professionally done or not.

  • Croiteir

    Keep asking the same question and I will keep giving the same answer – similar case concerning territorial waters in the 1950’s, the court decided it was above its payscale

  • Kevin Breslin

    I wouldn’t call damaging manufacturing and agriculture on a local level “doing nothing”.

    Funny it seems to be a case that we need to raise our engineers, manufacturers, scientists and farmers for export.

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/mps-react-after-vote-leave-11269819

  • Skibo

    Rodger, I believe if you check your post, you mentioned Martin and his impression on joint sovereignty. I merely raised a quotation of his on the subject.
    I never really considered the 1949 act or the 1920 act as having any element of NI reuniting with ROI. It is something I will have to look into.
    If you are under the impression that Unionist politicians would vote for reunification, I believe you are severely deluded. Unionism has always elected the extreme and moderate Unionism has been sidelined. The fact that John McAllister could not get re-elected is a prime example.
    I count myself as a Republican but I have come to the conclusion that the very act of violence which we always thought would bring about reunification was actually delaying that day.
    I cannot foresee any violent act that would bring that day forward and so I plead with all elements of Republicanism to turn away from violence and embrace the political will of the people to win the argument at the ballot box.

  • Oggins

    I don’t think you could ML on assembly results. There is a lot of persons who would vote UI and not SF. I can only see a professional poll getting any respect and discussion if all the nationalists parties engaged in the debate. The Southern parties FF and FG seem to have used the discussion as political point taking.

    The biggest challenge for nationalism, is actually getting nationalists to come together to discuss how they would move the agenda forward. Whether FG and FF actually mean the previous messages will be visible in the following months.

  • NotNowJohnny

    It would be helpful if you actually provided details of the case so that one could know what it is you are referring to. That said, based on your view, I’m now wondering why David Ford, Steven Agnew etc are consideting pursuing their legal challenge in the courts. Pray tell, what is that all about then if the UK courts have no jurisdiction?

  • Roger

    I’d encourage you to read up on the 1920 Act and 1949 Act. The 1920 Act was not in the same context as it partitioned the former Ireland into two UK jurisdictions. It contained provisions for the reunification of the two UK jurisdictions as one UK jurisdiction. As in 1922 most of the former Ireland left the UK, those provisions ceased to be applicable. The 1949 Act does not expressly reference a United Ireland. It simply provides that there would be no constitutional change in UKNI’s status without the consent of its parliament. Implicitly that meant they were saying there could be change if the UKNI parliament voted for it.

    I think you’ve misunderstood me or things when you speak about me being “under an impression” that unionist politicians would vote for unity. Of course not. But unionist voters are equally unlikely to also.

    The legalistic process for reunification under GFA is much more onerous requiring the UK SoS for UKNI to initiate the process (Stormont can’t) followed by two referendums in two separate jurisdictions.

    The GFA was no great breakthrough for a United Ireland. It was a milestone for local government in UKNI with institutionalized power sharing etc.

  • jonno99

    Yep like that’s going to happen!

  • jonno99

    You’re on a lifeboat; be grateful. The EU superstate is sinking.

  • jonno99

    Considering the EU has only existed since the early 90’s your 50 years is pure nonsense

  • jonno99

    Pure fantasy. Meanwhile back in the real world…..

  • jonno99

    True but it’s unlikely Brexit will deliver the NI basket case into a united Ireland…….that needs more than a UK vote to exit a failed EU

  • jonno99

    Roger on this point you’re wrong. Sentiment for NI in England is next to zero. However it’s not even a low priority to get shot of the place. As long as NI ticks along without violence.

  • John Peddubriwny

    I am not so sure about that. If you look at the world in general today, there are a lot of reminders of the 1930’s, especially the rise of ultra-nationalism. We’ve been here before. The question is will commonsense prevail? That’s my uncertainty.

    If it does, it will not rid us of the problem of ultra-nationalism, but merely put the cork back in the bottle for a few years.

  • Roger

    I really couldn’t disagree with you more.

  • Roger

    First para made no sense as I never for a moment made the assumption referred to. Re last sentence. You’re entitled to your opinions about what should be. In reality though, the GFA has failed before. Remember suspension. ‘Joint sovereignty’ wasn’t even discuss. Direct rule resumed. Mind you, I think it’s a misnomer. It’s not as if UK doesn’t directly rule even today. It’s just modified by v modest degree of local government.

  • Skibo

    So Rodger if I understand what you posted, the 1920 act did not even allow for an independent Ireland and refers soley to within the UK. In 1922 there seems to be no provision for an independent Ireland either. The 1949 Act I assume (even though it may make an ass of me) that it refers only to ROI independence and dose not state how a vote could be called for within the NI Government.
    What we have now is not perfect but I think we can all agree in 1922 and in 1949 there was no chance of an independent united Ireland.
    We are now in a new era. The Nationalist percentage is rising. small unionism public could be encouraged to look at the advantage of a united Ireland. All we have to achieve is over 40% who saw they want a united Ireland and the game is on.Scotland achieved a vote with the percentage at the time sitting in the early 30s.
    We are where we are and we need to work together to achieve reunification. Sitting back and condemning others while not coming up with a feasible alternative is not helpful.
    Had more continued to vote SF and SDLP and held the Nationalist vote, we would be further down the road.
    PBP have entered the ring but state they are neither Nationalist nor Unionist and detract from the overall percentage.

  • Skibo

    Rodger I will repost your post;
    “If people choose not to vote, they reject the opportunity to have a voice. That’s only fair. A country or region should not be run on the principle that we set policy based on guesstimates of what those not choosing to vote would like.”
    As I said in my post, your statement makes sense for the day to day running of the country.
    The issue of a border poll, just like that of the referendum on EU membership is above and beyond general day to day running of the country and normally brings out a much larger turnout. I would suggest turnouts similar to that of the GFA.
    As for the Stormont failure, suspension is not failure. Dissolution of Stormont with no possible return of power to Stormont should bring the Irish Government back to the table.

  • John Peddubriwny

    Thanks for the relatively kind words. A long time ago, I realised the wisdom of the saying, “Better to keep silent and let people think you are a fool, than speak and remove all doubt”.

    I am a fan of Aristotle who seems to have seen his role in life, was to make people think critically. I think the world is at a stage where we need Aristotelian thinking.

  • jonno99

    Why Roger? I live in England. NI is not the issue it was. Any sentiment here is for Ireland as a whole rather than a specific part of it. That’s just my general observation

  • Roger

    To be honest, I’ve gone over the same ground too many times with others. Forgive me if I’m not overly enthusiastic. In short: In reality the UK is a nationalist country, like very many others – nothing exceptional about that. So much so that it even voted recently to leave the EU. Apparently it found the constraints on its sovereignty too much to bare. It would rather pursue its global destiny independently I understand. Its commitment to UKNI is shown every budget time. Do you know how tiny the UKNI private sector is? Its economy is more than a bit like that of the former East Carfactorystan Soviet Socialist Republic. Its commitment to undiminished sovereignty over UKNI was shown time and time again over the decades during which political talks concerning UKNI were ongoing. It was seen very clearly in every decade of UKNI’s history. Out, out, out was one heroic UK PM’s response to various Irish proposals on UKNI. The UK is not some benign, neutral power that feels indifferent to whether or not it enjoys sovereignty over UKNI. What people in say, Manchester, say to their neighbours about the topic should it crop up while mowing their lawns just doesn’t change any of it. We also have 800 years of British involvement to go by. They’ve never been some middle of the road, ‘Oh well, if you really would like us here, ok then’ sort of crowd. Hopefully the Brexit referendum result will help put the sort of nonsensical idea that the UK is not just as nationalistic as any other country to bed. Every inch we hold.

  • jonno99

    Roger I totally get the Brexit result. I was never a fan of the failed EU and its systemically flawed Euro currency. Conflating the Brexit result with any move toward a united Ireland is unrealistic IMHO. At best it’s given both communities in NI a few more problems with the economic and political relationship with the rest of Ireland.
    My point regarding GB sentiment or more specifically English sentiment toward NI was just a simple observation. Of course it’s up to the people living in NI to retain or alter its constitutional relationship with the UK and / or Ireland.

  • jonno99

    John the EU has only succeeded in resurrecting ultra nationalism. It was totally impotent over Yugoslavia and stirred it up in the Ukraine. The migrant crisis has also stirred the pot. Schengen has failed abysmally and the Euro debacle is far from over. I predict the EU hasn’t got a meaningful economic future.

  • John Peddubriwny

    i think you and I will not be able to agree on this, so we will have to wait and see.

    FWIW, I don’t think that the EU has resurrected. I think it’s cyclical problem where the ignorant are manipulated by those with an agenda. The thing about ultra-nationalism, or more commonly, Fascism is that it has been tried no fewer than six times in the past century and the countries have invariably imploded, and that includes the former Yugoslavia.

    I doubt that the UK will leave the EU, and it’s only a matter of time before the financial consequences start to bite. Similarly, I expect a referendum in Switzerland to reverse the previous decision to quit the single market. I also think that Clinton will wipe the floor with Trump, and in the 2020 Election the Republicans will have learned their lesson and will make sure that the candidate is not an extremist buffoon. During the meantime, those with pointy heads will be seething that they were not allowed to try doing things their way, and the relationship will still exist, albeit strained.

    But as we are both making predictions, only time will tell.

  • Roger

    Yes my point is based on observation too. We’ve just reached different conclusions. You conclude the English are entirely neutral. Really unpaid UN workers. I don’t.

  • jonno99

    So Roger you honestly observe a passionate sentiment in England for the union with NI? They are less UN workers more Stewards charged for the onerous privilege. It’s tolerated more than loved. Maybe you are referring to the Union as a whole rather than specifically NI? In which case there is more than a neutral belief in it. There’s also a strong social union in GB and Ireland which has survived the rupture of political separatism and devolution.

  • Roger

    Yes I honestly observe passionate commitment on the part of the broader UK to maintaining its sovereignty over every inch of its territory. UKNI included.

  • jonno99

    Fair enough we obviously walk in different circles haha. I think if there was a vote for a united Ireland in England it would be a landslide win for it IMHO but then that’s not the point. Most people here have switched off .

  • Roger

    They’re sufficiently switched on to ensure UK sovereignty is upheld. They even ensure a narrative of not questioning UK sovereignty is generally accepted. ‘Of course, it’s a matter for UKNI people; we’ll just respect their decision whatever it is’. We won’t dwell on the point that we invented UKNI in 1920. IMHO any such poll would not favour ceding territory.

  • jonno99

    Roger I agree Brexit is not the vehicle for a united Ireland and of course you’re right it depends on a consent vote in NI itself as well as the rest of Ireland.

  • Croiteir

    I think the case is DPP for Northern Ireland v MacNeill’ (1976) 27 NILQ48, or its appeal.

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