#Brexit survey suggests Unionists were radicalised, whilst nationalists are slowly switching off.

So John Coakley and John Garry have been working on the numbers from an ESRC funded survey of Northern Irish voters in the Referendum, and have come sup some interesting findings. Let’s start with the most bleedin’ obvious:

The most obvious difference is that between the two communities. A striking 60% of Protestants, but only 15% of Catholics supported the “leave” side. On the Protestant side, there is a notable further difference: working-class Protestants emerge as much stronger supporters of “leave” (71%) than middle-class Protestants (47%).

In terms of political parties, only the supporters of explicitly named Unionist parties’ voted strongly for Brexit:

TUV voters strongly pro-Brexit (89%), followed by the DUP (70%), but with Brexit supporters a majority even among Ulster Unionists voters (54%).

And yet, according to most mainstream Irish (and Scottish) analysis, this was the Unionist population behaving irrationally and playing with fire with the British Union itself. It is not an idea which has much traction within political unionism.

Some of those voting for Brexit within Nesbitt’s UUP were strong supporters of his in his early days of his rise to the leadership. Most acting on a strong belief in the core democratic argument that the UK’s membership the EU occludes the sovereignty of parliament at Westminster.

In fact, most believe that leaving the EU makes matters more difficult for secessionists. As one senior unionist said on the matter of Scotland, ‘there’s nothing left to give them, they’ve had it all’. The time may be coming for those who believe in the UK to hammer matters out with those who don’t.

Yet even the nationalist figures come with an odd little twist:

….in some border constituencies (such as Newry and Armagh, and South Down), the “remain” vote surprisingly fell below the total nationalist vote in the 2015 Westminster election. On the other hand, certain solidly unionist constituencies, such as North Down and East Londonderry, returned “remain” majorities.

After several generations of resolutely taking a Eurosceptic view of the EU in every public referendum in the Republic, Sinn Fein finally went pro European. It may be that the new clothes were a little ill fitting and did not convince their core support to come out.

Just as likely, since the SDLP has until recently been the most influential party in South Down, it fits with the wider evidence of northern Nationalism’s failing ability to influence or engage positively with its own voter base.

Hard to escape the view that in this particular part of the electoral cycle Unionist voters have been radicalised, whilst the nationalist electorate is slowly switching off.

 

  • Roger

    Have to agree. I don’t think the Irish gov would put its heart into the campaign. Light touch rhetoric more likely. I may be wrong but me suspects they’ll be rather concerned about the potential aftermath. Taking over Ketanga.

    I’d like to think I’m work on that one.

  • Roger

    Remind us how the nationalist vote has been holding up these past two decades?

  • billypilgrim1

    So you’re unaware of the basic objective of Irish nationalism. Good to know the level I’m talking to.

    Here’s some reading, to start with. It will blow your mind.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Ireland

    “AND the promised land is what– an hour away at most?”

    More like a few years away, I’d say. It’s certainly a hell of a lot closer than it was pre-Brexit.

  • billypilgrim1

    “Unionists aren’t going to become nationalists.”

    They don’t have to. They just have to accept that the game is up.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Roger, I’m an historian, and accordingly used to how suddenly things can shift from what appear to be small events at the time. Simply look at how the IPPs massive support in 1910 had vanished by 1918:

    http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/nationalism-and-the-irish-party-provincial-ireland-1910-1916/

    Even a week is a long time in politics, as someone once said, something which the events of one week in 1916 should forcably remind us all of. While I am utterly against violence, since the formation of the UVF in 1911 the consistent message sent out has been that negotiated constitutional solutions will always be trumped by self interest and agression, and the efefcet of such factors in ensuring the general paralysis of the assembly set up by the Belfast Agreement does nothing to suggest that anyone in our local politics has learnt that lasting solutions can only come from sane political co-operation. This discourages serious committment by voters to the assembly itself, something strongly reflected in a general decline in voting for all parties.

    At present there is, to my mind, no credible major party in the north for representative elections, so are you surprised that the vote for parties is accordingly in decline? Only 55% of those who could validly vote actually went to the polls this year. The largest party returned, the DUP, has only 16% of valid votes, SF, 13%, the UUP 7% and the SDLP 6.6%. I really don’t see what any sensible person would even begin to infer from this. Quite a few of those who might vote in any poll on the issue of partition would perhaps be most diffident themselves about voting for an assembly they might not feel has inspired any credibility. No sensible person would even begin to infer any solid basis for the continuity of the Union in these circumstances, and the general gist of the Belfast Agreement was always towards the restoration of that Irish unity which Great Britain encapsulated in both the 1920 Governmemnt of Ireland Act that created NI and An Conradh Angla-Éireannach of 1921.

    You are perhaps aware that 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 given, North and South, to bring about a united Ireland if that is their wish”. The “without external impediment” refers to Britain’s own wish to be without external influence on this negotiation. The Union as it was concieved in partition is now entirely moribund, its simply a matter of how this will in time be formalised.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    John, the point I’m making is that, with, under the Belfast Agreement, the right of people living here to declare their identity as British, Irish or both, this is clearly not a similar situation to that of an Irish passport holder living in, say, Birmingham or London. The Agreement has taken up Richard Kearney’s advice regarding the benefits of shared sovereignty (see Kearney’s original document in his “Postnationalist Ireland”, p. 70), but has not spelt this out in any detail so as to not worry those who would find such an arrangement frightening. But from your answer I can see that you do not accept the Belfast Agreement’s affirmation of the right of Irish people to any recognition of the fullness of that identity where they live.

    The Agreement states that both British and Irish governments “recognise that 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 given, North and South, to bring about a united Ireland, if that is their wish, accepting that this right must be achieved and exercised with and subject to the agreement and consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland”…….

    Note, “without external impediment”, which states that GB regards this as an entirely Irish matter now.

    I’ve answered someone else below on the sovereignty issues, which are in practice rather more complex than the old discrete “Westphalian” sovereignty you are suggesting applies. In effect the Agreement is making something rather less than any claim of full sovereignty over NI by Great Britain, it is suggesting a most liminal situation under the guarantee off both governments, an interim of temporary British authority until future demographics make an agreed United Ireland a possible fact. Full sovereignty would perhaps accept the right of abode for foreign aliens, but surely this is not the situation regarding those who under the Belfast Agreement have been assured of their full right to affirm their Irish identity and have it recognised. The Agreement affirms “the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland” Wikipedia tells us:

    “Because of the Common Travel Area provisions between Ireland and the United Kingdom, Irish citizens have a de facto right of abode in the United Kingdom. However, with the exception of those Irish persons born before 1949 who have reclaimed British subject status, the entitlement to reside in the United Kingdom is not unconditional, and Irish citizens (who are not also British citizens) are subject to removal and deportation from the UK.”

    If you were correct then this possibility of removal would be the status of local Irish Passport holders under your version of the Belfast Agreement, something soon to possibly apply if a hard exit from the EU is now envisaged. The agreement was of course relying on the ongoing membership of both the RoI and the UK within the EU to fog this understated issue of shared sovereignty. But the intention of the agreement was clearly for a shared space rather than to formally remove the rights of citizens of NI to their right of residence here. No, simple discrete sovereignty is simply not the situation in this place.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You obviously can read words, but certainly not the intentions or implications of these words. While both governments:

    “acknowledge that while a substantial section of the people in Northern Ireland share the legitimate wish of a majority of the people of the island of Ireland for a united Ireland, the present wish of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland, freely exercised and legitimate, is to maintain the Union and, accordingly, that Northern Ireland’s status as part of the United Kingdom reflects and relies upon that wish; and that it would be wrong to make any change in the status of Northern Ireland save with the consent of a majority of its people.”

    it would appear that you have clearly not understood that “a majority of its people” is not the unending property of Unionism! The agreement also notes (in the quote in my earlier comment) that it is “for the people of the Island of Ireland alone” to decide on the status of NI, and the term “without external impediment” is a clear indication that Great Britain is stating that it is intending to stand aloof from these discussions. Since the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, every constitutional document has in some manner envisaged NI as a part, or as a potential part, of an Irish polity, and in the acts that ratified An Conradh Angla-Éireannach what is now NI was fully included in the new arrangement for all Ireland as an integral part of Ireland, but with a month’s “grace” to petition the Crown in order to opt out (which of course it did). But note, it required a special clause under the agreement to continue the partition of 1920, and this only recognised a separate administration within the agreement, not in any sense an entirely separate nation.

    You still appear to be coming at this from the old “Westphalian” approach to sovereignty, as something indivisible, an approach which membership of the EU, which had authority to over-rule national sovereignty, and all those international trade agreements which limit the power of national governments to intervene on trade issues, has punched endless holes through over and over for several decades now. Globalism has made such concepts of fully discrete sovereignty quite redundant in the modern world, and the United Kingdom has recently even proved unable to protect its all important banks against CRS demands, where the IRS can demand full account disclosure from UK banks, enforced by punitive fines, something which HMRC cannot demand from US banks. No, sovereignty has become simply a “brand name”, guaranteeing little for anyone who understands the modern world in the current climate.

    The Belfast Agreement is carefully phrased to look like one thing, but as with any “contract” the interpretation of its meaning is always gong to be far more worrying than it might at first appear. But if this is not worrying you, then you are free to sleep on until something actually occurs to break the fragile bubble of faux sovereignty.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    As Carlo tells us all, towards the end of the clip:

  • Roger

    You and I have explored the Belfast Agreement before. We couldn’t in the end agree. To me it’s language is quite plain. You’ve quoted it above. It changed nothing vis-a-vis the constitutional question other than, as Austen Morgan says, the statutory emphasis.*In the 1949 Act the emphasis was on a majority for the union. Now the emphasis is on a majority for Irish unity. Two sides of the same coin.
    *Nothing other than making a United Ireland procedurally more difficult to achieve. Now it requires (1) legislation to provide for a referendum in Northern Ireland; (2) legislation to provide for a referendum in Ireland; (3) a referendum in Northern Ireland; (4) a referendum in Ireland; (5) a treaty between UK and Ireland; (6) ratification of treaty by UK; (7) ratification of treaty by Ireland.
    Several of these obstacles to change didn’t apply before Belfast Agreement. It certainly has complicated the process. The contrast with reuniting the GDR with the FRG is notable. No need for a referendum in FRG etc.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You are still imagining that it, the Agreement, exists in a vacuum from the rest of the world. The erosion of discrete sovereignty with firstly the EU, an more recently with Globalisation and the drive for “free trade” has really changed everything. The Belfast Agreement leant heavily on a number of proposals which proceeded it. Perhaps read Richard Kearney’s “Postnationalist Ireland” to get a clearer picture of just how different a world it reflects from the world you are imagining it as reflecting.

    All pod what you are listing is simply “safeguard” talk to lull the uncurious into thinking that this will safeguard the Union. Do you really think any of this will take very long to process once a majority supporting re-unification becomes evident in the north? My own guess is about 18 months to two years maximum.

  • Roger

    We’ve explored some of this before. I’d describe it as the difference between (1) what you imagine is in the Agreement and how you imagine it changed things versus (2) what is actually in the Agreement and what was the actual position before the Agreement. You describe the Agreement as if it made a United Ireland easier or more likely. Of course it didn’t. The list I enumerated shows that. Before the Agreement a simple treaty between the UK and Ireland and related ratification was all that was required. It was very similar to the unification process followed in Germany. No referendums etc. were needed before the Agreement just as in Germany. Quickie unification was possible. There was even talk of it during WW2. I don’t think it was that serious talk but nonetheless it was possible to talk in those terms. Now, no way. A highly complex process is required. If there was support for unity in both Northern Ireland and Ireland it could happen certainly. To say the Agreement helped make it inevitable and just a question of time which is what, in short, you say has no basis in fact.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The terms, Roger, are no more complex that anything else in the modern world, and are simply there to show the world that a majority across the island desires re-unification so as to scotch any suggestion that the Unionists are ever going to be compelled to enter a United Ireland by elite pressure form either the RoI or GB. We will have to disagree about all of this still I imagine, especially about the actual meaning of the Agreement. One really has to look at and analyse these things within a gestalt or “whole field” of influences, and to contextualise what is being said against the numerous factors which they will encounter. This you appear to be unwilling to do. Words are only words not as you suggest “facts”, until they are made actual within the living context of their application to things, and here demographics and a potentially much wider public opinion than the current regular voting blocks may very well come into play. There are no “facts” regarding a future which has not yet come about, so neither of us is arguing from verifiable fact, we are simply taking different positions on probabilities.

    But even within the wording of the Agreement itself, the meaning is clearly focused on the idea that, without any further interference from GB, Ireland will be moving towards re-Unification, with rather weaker safeguards for the current Unionist community than were on offer in 1921. That is fact.

  • Roger

    The wording in the Agreement made achieving a United Ireland procedurally much harder. Other than that, it changed nothing. Other than perhaps fooling people like you into thinking it changed something. It was always the express UK view that Northern Ireland’s status was dependent on the will of its people. That will was to be expressed through its Parliament under the 1920 and 1949 Acts. Under the 1998 Act/the Agreement, it’s via referendum plus the other bells and whistles I’ve listed before.

    “No more complex than”…German procedures? Pre Agreement procedures?

  • NotNowJohnny

    You’ve clearly put a lot of effort into this response. Unfortunately I still haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

  • John Collins

    Nationalists, in what is now the ROI, were not too engaged by the IPP, and definitely not by a group avowing violence, at the 1910 Election, yet they voted in their droves for a violent separatist party eight years later.
    Disaffection can be a dangerous indicator

  • John Collins

    Well it did take a while to get over the disastrous Act of Union, when the population of what is now the ROI dropped about 30% while that of mainland GB rose by 170%. United as one country indeed.

  • John Collins

    Have you checked the rate at which the National Debt of GB is increasing? I am sure you will find it is not very reassuring either.

  • john millar

    “Of course not nearly so many Protestants left IRL as Catholics left UKNI. But I suppose the latter don’t warrant much concern here. ”
    Details – references ?

  • john millar

    ” Irish citizens have a de facto right of abode in the United Kingdom. However, with the exception of those Irish persons born before 1949 who have reclaimed British subject status, the entitlement to reside in the United Kingdom is not unconditional, and Irish citizens (who are not also British citizens) are subject to removal and deportation from the UK.”

    So we have a “double irish” Those born in the ROI see above “who are not also British citizens) are subject to removal and deportation from the UK.”

    Those born in NI have an unrestricted right to residence in the ]UK (whatever that is) and are not “subject to removal and deportation from the UK.” ??
    Shirley Knott?

  • john millar

    “When did IRL go downhill?
    I mean, relative to UKNI of course.”

    1920 to 1967 2008-2015

    ROI Rescued by UK joining EQ and piggybacking in
    How will it fare if the UK exits?

  • Roger

    I don’t agree with any of the time periods you mention, although there were no doubt particular years it would have been true. Most notably during the ‘economic war’ of the 1930s. Those time periods you mention greatly mask how steadily UKNI was declining. Remember, it was by far the wealthiest part of the former Ireland at partition and Belfast had by far the most advanced economy, far larger than that of Dublin. Rather than going down relative to UKNI, IRL was catching up during the majority (not all, true) of those years. Of course, the UKNI economy got a huge Soviet style boost in terms of hand outs from the mainland UK particularly post-1945. That rather masked how steadily its real economy was in decline relative to IRL’s.
    As for the latter period, at no point during any of those years did per capita wealth in IRL get anywhere near as low as it is in UKNI. During some of those years (certainly not as late as 2015 as you mention), IRL was certainly in decline but it certainly didn’t get downhill as far as UKNI.
    I don’t know what you mean about IRL being rescued by UK or something like that. The two economies are certainly interdependent, naturally IRL (the far smaller) much more dependent on UK economy…but rescue, what rescue? When did UK act in a way that was somehow not in its own best interests?

  • Roger

    Oh gosh, check it out. Google it. Or, check my posting history here. I remember I posted a report on it here. It’s been well reported on so there’s tonnes out there. Had Catholics not fled UKNI in the relatively vast numbers they did when the British administration there was pursuing the (successful) ‘cold house’ strategy, Catholics would have been a majority there decades ago. The numbers involved were much bigger than the number of Protestants who left IRL.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    John, we are all required by the Belfast Agreement to

    “recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.”

    What you are suggesting is the old pre-Agreement situation where those born on British territory must of necessity be simply British. The Agreement supersedes this version (and incidentally creates an ambiguity regarding sovereign authority). We are talking not about British people but about people who we are required to recognise fully as Irish citizens with an equal claim to this polity alongside those accepted as British. No, its not in any manner as simple as you suggest.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’m reminded of the story of the viva for Ludwig Wittgenstein. His examiners were the philosophers G.E. Moore and Bertrand Russell who also confessed that they hadn’t a clue what Wittgenstein was talking about. He went round the desk, put his hands on their shoulders and said “perhaps someday you will begin to understand.”

    I imagine that day in your case will be when the result of a poll on re-unification is actually published. That, or when the actual implications of the Agreement become evident to all.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    You are still ignoring the elephant in the corner, demographics. This is not simply an exercise in language, but something which is utterly affected by a steady flux of population numbers.

    The extreme artificiality of the NI statelet, crafted in support of a single political interest is hidden under the vainglorious use of “dependent on the will of its people. That will was to be expressed through its Parliament under the 1920 and 1949 Acts.”

    The situation after 1920 was “dependent on the will of [two-thirds of] its people.” That will was to be expressed against the other third through a Parliament crafted to secure what would virtually become a one party system. These qualifications seriously undermine any suggestion that such a polity was acting on behalf of anything other than one political faction against another. Since 1998 the structures are at least attempting to work with the entire community. But all that has gone before has ensured that 50% +1 is all too likely to shift what tatters of sovereignty remain here. This is something that is enshrined in the Agreement, and lies at the root of what is clearly a promise of future reunification for Ireland by a Britain which has stated in the Agreement that this is entirely an Irish matter which should be decided within Ireland.

  • john millar
  • john millar

    “No, its not in any manner as simple as you suggest.”

    Perhaps I posed my question badly
    What difference in rights does an Irish citizen born in Northern Ireland have compared to an Irish citizen born in the ROI?

    Bearing in mind

    ” the entitlement to reside in the United Kingdom is not unconditional, and Irish citizens (who are not also British citizens) are subject to removal and deportation from the UK.”

  • john millar

    “I don’t know what you mean about IRL being rescued by UK or something like that.”

    GB allowed unrestricted immigration from ROI to GB from 1920 on – absorbing what would have been a legion of the unemployed in the ROI.

    ROI success was/is predicated on EC membership in 1967 and based on huge hand outs from Brussels (German and British cash)

    ” the UKNI economy got a huge Soviet style boost in terms of hand outs from the mainland UK”

    It was called the welfare state also included Scotland and Wales (In NI it was expended in supporting Dole NHS , hand outs and housing for an expanding population)

    Then we had an extended period where funds were diverted to repair the damage caused by the murder gangs.

    As I wander back from a visit to a relative -with my modest Cote Du Rhone (4.4 euros) calling in my local for a pint (3.7 euros) and recalling my visit to his new house -3bedroom semi -125,000 Euros (25mins bus/car from Belfast- nice area country park nearby- an hour from the seaside) -and I see whey faced daily commuters from Mullingar to Dublin -I really do envy all that percapita wealth I seem to be missing

  • john millar

    “the planters arrived in Ireland to find the north east empty of any natives”

    They did not “arrive” on a bus/train
    They had been sent – I wonder why?

  • Roger

    OK, I have googled and from the first relevant hit note the following:

    http://www.tara.tcd.ie/bitstream/handle/2262/2718/jssisiVolXXVII193_220.pdf?sequence=1

    Above notes that “in terms of the future religious balance of the [UKNI] population a critical issue is the make-up of the migrant group [migrants who leave UKNI]”. No doubt you’d agree with me that that’s not a controversial statement. The piece goes on to note the conclusions of a study undertaken by certain academics, Barritt and Carter, who estimate that net migration out of UKNI was composed as follows:
    1937 to 1961 – 60 per cent Catholic (Table 1 of the same piece notes that Catholics represented only between 33 and 36 per cent – exact number changed with v slight increase overall during that period). So Catholics were roughly nearly twice as likely to migrate during that period.
    1961-1971 – 54 per cent Catholic (Again, Catholics greatly overrepresented in the migrant group)
    1971-1981 – 50 per cent Catholic (As above).
    1981-1991 – 50 per cent Catholic (As above).
    I didn’t see a neat presentation of Catholic migration during the period 1921 (formation of UKNI) to 1937 but I think we can both conclude Catholics were substantially overrepresented in that group of lucky migrants.

  • john millar

    Given the roman catholic birth rate is/was 46% higher than the protestant one,

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/population/hammond06rp.pdf

    “Historically, Irish birth rates have been exceptionally high by European
    standards. Total fertility rate (ie, average number of children per female) in 1970 in the Irish Republic was 3.87 and in Northern Ireland 3.25, compared with the Western European mean of 2.41.7

    https://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2001/WP01.26.pdf

    “Ireland’s sluggish participation in the European fertility transition is well-known. In
    the late 1950s Irish marital fertility had fallen only to where Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Greek fertility had been in the 1920s, and German and English in the 1910s. Yet there is evidence of a decline, though limited, in Irish fertility before the Great War”

    Within the Northern Ireland figure, Catholic total fertility
    rate was 4.1, compared with Protestants’ 2.88″

    It seems that roman catholics have been adding 46% more (more than 46% in previous generations) to the population than non catholics it would seem likely that they would also contribute at least proportionately to the emigrant total

    Based on your figures at 60% this represents 1.5 times the non catholics

    At 54% this represents 1.17 times the non catholic population

    At 50% = evens

    Given the rate at which the roman catholic community was/is adding to the overall population it would appear that in fact the non catholic is over represented in emigrant stats

  • john millar

    la perfide Angleterre

  • Roger

    “Had Catholics not fled UKNI in the relatively vast numbers they did when the British administration there was pursuing the (successful) ‘cold house’ strategy, Catholics would have been a majority there decades ago.” Everything you’ve said agrees with what I’ve said. You’ve even cited that Catholic total fertility rate was 4.1, compared with Protestants’ 2.88. I don’t know what time period those numbers cover but I take them as generally indicative of the facts. Yet, notwithstanding that huge differential, Catholics never became the majority. The reason is because they fled.

  • john millar

    “Yet, notwithstanding that huge differential, Catholics never became the majority. The reason is because they fled.”

    Stats from the 5`s show 3-1 Catholic/ Other birth rates
    3 catholics for 1 other arriving on the labour market in a declining economy- and this is not a reason for the imbalance in emigration statistics?

  • Roger

    I didn’t know we’d started exploring the reasons Catholics fled. But it seems we’ve both agreed that they did. Just as I pointed out at the outset. The ‘cold house’ strategy worked. Thanks to it there is a Northern Ireland today.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    Scotland: ‘there’s nothing left to give them, they’ve had it all’.

    ‘In a pig’s valise’ as Raymond Chandler was wont to say.

    See: https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/the-most-powerful-devolved-parliament-in-the-world-so-thats-ok-then/

  • John Collins

    We had 120 years, odd, of the Act of Union and we know how at least 28 counties of the island were ignored and neglected during that period.
    As regards any repeat of 1707 or indeed 1891, as you might say yourself dream on.

  • John Collins

    Well it certainly got more from EU membership than it ever got in the 120 years it was a so called ‘part of the UK’

  • John Collins

    Well I hope you don’t begrudge the unemployed in NI, who get less than £100 a week, as Varadker told Mary Lou in the Dail during the week, or the OAPs up who get a whopping £60 less than their ROI counterparts, their ‘good fortune’

  • john millar

    Glad you recognise the source of your siccess

  • john millar

    Give a full compare
    Relative living costs
    include additional support ( housing benefit, fuel benefits ,property tax reliefs etc ) and present your case.

  • John Collins

    As the British and French seldom acknowledge that but for ‘Marshall Plan’ monies after WW2 they might not be half as successful as they are either.
    Anyway a successful Irish economy is no harm to business in Britain as William Hague pointed out at the time of the Queens visit here. It is just a pity they were too thick to realise that before 1918.
    GB moan about the 380 billion they give to the EU, yet if that money led to stronger East European economies, who would purchase more GB goods and at the same time cut off opportunities for Putin to cash in on dissatisfaction in those lands, it would be money well spent.

  • John Collins

    Are you saying there is no housing benefits, fuel benefits, Free travel etc in the ROI. My friend there was free travel in the South years, if not decades, before it was in NI, free TV license, extra benefits over 80 and £6,000 a year extra for an elderly couple over their equal aged NI cousins. There is no need to argue as benefits in the South are at least as good as those in NI and that is why Mary Lou, for once, had no answer to Varadeker’s observations in the Dail and why a FF TD recently went through the usually capable Pearse Doherty like faecal matter through a goose, when the bould Pearse tried to run our benefits down compared to those of NI

  • John Collins

    Hold on John
    Are you seriously suggesting there are no housing benefits in the South. As a fellow who rents out houses I can assure there are very fine housing benefits in the South indeed.
    You speak of relative living costs. I holidayed in Fortwilliam Cornwall and Norwich over the past three years. I like spending vacation in another English speaking country and generally like the English people. However I found that for every Euro I would spent here, and especially in food and petrol, I was spending one pound sterling in GB. I admit alcohol, for all I drink of it now, is about the same, but overall from these excursions and frequent trips to NI , that the cost of living is at least as expensive in GB.
    Now there are also fuel benefits down south that have been there for well over thirty years
    Free Travel for pensioners was available in the South years , if not decades, before they were granted to the same group in NI.
    Finally Mary Lou had no answer to Varaker and when Pearse Doherty, normally a capable speaker, tried to compare NI benefits very favourably with those of NI a FF TD went through his argument like faecal matter through a goose. The outcome of those exchanges are even more telling that any argument I could put forward

  • john millar

    As I say –Give a full compare
    Relative rates for
    pension,other payments etc.

  • Roger

    “Had Catholics not fled UKNI in the relatively vast numbers they did when the British administration there was pursuing the (successful) ‘cold house’ strategy, Catholics would have been a majority there decades ago.”
    Again, you haven’t said one word to contradict the above. You seem to have accepted the point and have now moved on to exploring the reasons why the Catholics fled UKNI.
    No doubt there were a lot of reasons the Catholics fled, just as there were a lot of reasons the Protestants fled IRL, the numbers in the former category being substantially larger.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    I’m sure a lot of the people voted in NI along their tribal lines, yawn….. But I’m also sure that the information based decision to vote leave, would have crossed tribal lines. All the info online, beat the fear based claims to remain.

    Now it looks like the ROI leave campaign is gaining speed. With the ROI now as a net contributor and their low corp tax rate under threat, the democratic and economic benefit of ‘taking control of our own country’ is becoming more widely known.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/687424/ireland-exit-irexit-brexit

  • John Collins

    On two occasions I have quoted a cogent and detailed reply to this post. On each occasion tt has been deleted. Do some people not like the truth?

  • John Collins

    John
    Why don’t you give a detailed account of benefits in NI, as I have frequently done this for ROI, but nobody wants to know, as it does suit some peoples narrative.
    As regards housing benefit I know that couple in the ROI have only to pay less than 25 Euro a week out of their benefits, towards their accommodation out of about 240 Euros, which is still well ahead of NI
    Your OAP is a clear £30 a week less that ours, or £6,000 less annually for an OAP couple.