Process moving into dangerous territory…

Tagged on to the end of another story, is reference to an alleged report from the taoiseach’s office that there was a discussion within the IRA’s leadership over whether they should go for a a ‘spectacular’ in Britain, or the bank robbery. The story is not publicly sourced, however it does raise the important question of whether the IRA might now choose to use the hiatus to send a similiar message to that of the Canary Wharf bomb of 1996? Certainly Martin McGuinness believes the process is moving onto dangerous ground.

  • ulsterman

    Own goal two. It gets better and better. Oh happy days.

    The IRA were a spent force before the ceasefires. All the bullshit about a UI and Celtic rubbish only covered their criminal and murderous activity.

    Never again will Ulster have a SF minister.

    God Save The Queen.

  • Davros

    Dangerous for whom ? 9/11 changed the rules.

  • DessertSpoon

    Found this link on the BBC site it suggests it can explain the Peace Process.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4072261.stm

    Perhaps we should send it to all the Parties because they obviously haven’t got a clue!

    If the IRA goes back to terrorism dont’ you think that Sinn Fein will cease to exist as a viable political organisation. No right thinking person wants more violence it didn’t work before what makes them think it will work now. Maybe if they (all Parties) had tried harder to resolve the process more honestly earlier and stopped treating it like a game of who gets more votes we wouldn’t be in this mess. They never seem to realise they are playing with real peoples lives.

  • George

    Considering the Anglo-Irish Agreement was, on Garret Fitzgerald’s own admission, a vehicle to stop the rise of Sinn Fein and seeing as the GFA was most probably a similar effort to shore up the middle ground, it’s not surprising that with this agreement in its death throes we are now once again being presented with the idea that a vote for Sinn Fein will be a vote for violence and that nationalist democrats (who ironically have never had a representative government after 80 years of waiting) should move away from them.

    Unfortunately, what we have on offer for nationalists after all this time is very little movement on policing, continued dysfunctional direct rule or a return to dysfunctional majoritarian rule and no functioning north-south links. Throw in an unrestructured economy that is falling further behind the rest of the island by the day for good measure.

    I can see northern nationalists leaving SF in their droves for that alright.

    What happens if Sinn Fein’s vote rises in the upcoming Westminster elections? Will the spectre of an IRA spectacular slowly fade from the media’s consciousness?

    Will we hear that this increase is evidence that Northern nationalists don’t believe the IRA were involved, don’t care if the IRA were involved or approve of the IRA being involved in the Northern Job?

  • Keith M

    Should the SF/IRA go back to full scale terrorism, then it will simply prove those that questioned their motives from the start were correct. Given what has gone before; Reynolds nonsense regarding the word “complete”, the Mitchell princples which demanded decommissioning during negotiations, the failure to meet the 2000 deadline, the lack of transparancy, not to mention Colombia, bank heists, abductions, punishment atttacks etc. nothing would surprise me.

    However if SF/IRA do not see what a huge own goal the bank robbery was, would it really be such a shock for them to make an even bigger mistake?

  • Davros

    George, I don’t think your analysis allows for one important aspect of SF’s electoral success. Their class based approach. Unionism – with the exception of the PUP – is solidly right wing. The SDLP ? Any trace of Socalism is long gone.

  • Mick Fealty

    Despite the compelling nature of the current headlines/speculation, the next elections will provide the only real test of SF’s political instincts.

    My own personal jury is out until then. If Sinn Fein can raise their vote, current strategy looks sound from the party’s pov.

    That would be an excellent result for them, but it may largely depend on the SDLP turning in the kind of zero performance they put in last time out. Or there not actually being any evidence of hand in the till activities published before May!

  • George

    Davros,
    do you see the Sinn Fein vote rising or dropping in the upcoming Westminster elections?

    As you know, I set my stall out on this long ago and even offered you a wager as I believe the ceiling has not yet been reached. The combined SDLP/SF vote will rise above the figure from the 2001 elections with SF remaining the larger of the two parties.

    What then?

    The calls for unionist unity have already begun to stave off this prospect.

    The DUP mention SF becoming the largest party in an effort to maximise the pro union vote, Alex Kane is calling for all unionists to go out and vote to maximise the pro union vote.

    All this will do will be to spur nationalists to also go out and vote and if the plan is to criminalise SF, I can actually see the opposite taking place and them getting an electoral boost.

  • Mick Fealty

    There is also the possible effect of a spectacular. Would that enhance or detract from Sinn Fein’s electoral performance? Or is May 2005 not the point? If not, what is: 2006/7; 2011; or 2016? Or none of the above?

  • J Kelly

    The SF vote will rise in May because SF offer people effective leadership and more important solid representation on the ground. Its not just two weeks before an election that you see SF on the streets. SF are out and about every day of the week.

    So no matter about Bank Robberies and allegations without evidence people will vote for those who work for them. So when the votes are counted on the 6th of May SF will not only have more votes but will definitely have more seats. SF seven westminster seats.

  • George

    There will be no movement, never mind a spectacular before the 2005 Westminster election. Personally, I think the days of spectaculars are over.

    If the Sinn Fein vote rises in 2005, then it’s full steam ahead for the 2006 Dail elections (constitutional issues on electoral boundary changes prevent 2007 as a date I believe).

    The question is will there have to be movement by SF between the Westminster elections and the Dail elections for them to increase their number of seats?

    With the Greens in freefall (my tip), most of their eight seats will be up for grabs. This means also that a rainbow coalition won’t be feasible without the help of the PD’s who will make it clear they will form a government with anyone to keep SF out even FG and Labour.

    People will be able to vote SF safe in the knowledge they won’t get into power. Exactly how southerners like it when it comes to the North, no consequences.

    Part of me is beginning to think the IRA are playing a waiting game, which can be measured in decades rather than years.

    Just as republicans in South Armagh used to brag that all they needed to do was to send out a sniper every six months to shoot a British soldier to keep the area heavily militarised, all the IRA needs to do now to keep Northern Ireland in a state of perpetual crisis is to continue to exist.

    They are causing more instability refusing to go away than they would by planting a bomb in Britain or elsewhere.

    They’ve already seen off Alliance and have the SDLP and UUP in their sights. The zero sum game approaches. Us or them. No middle ground.

  • Davros

    George , I’m not sure what will happen. It’s all up for grabs. As you know I tend to think of SF as having Jekyll and Hyde facets. Dr Jekyll is still working away at community level. That’s the bedrock of their vote, decent people who vote SF not because but rather despite Mr Hyde. I’m with Eamonn ( not Andrew) McCann (Interview):

    ” And one way of looking at the process leading up to the ceasfires is not, as it’s commonly presented, of Mr. Adams and Mr. McGuinness sort of carefully and sensitively leading a militant community towards constitutional politics and luring them away from violence and into constitutionality. Another way of looking at it is that they were realigning their own movement to meet the actual thinking of the people that they sensed that they were, if not far out in front or in another way of looking at it, far behind, but certainly were out of alignment. The ideas of republicanism were not in alignment with the mass of republican supporters, and the adjustment was not the mass of people adjusting themselves to the new stance of republicanism, but the movement itself adjusting itself to where its supporters were actually at and doing that in a way that involved the abandonment of armed struggle, and necessarily the presentation, particularly to their core supporters, of a new strategy as a better way of achieving the old traditional aims.”

    One important part that will make a big difference short-term is whether Mr Hyde is put back in his place or if he is left in full view.longer-term, Mr Hyde will have to go.

    Another will be if they can keep riding those two horses regarding “womens issues” and secularism. If the Church and pro-life organisations push on abortion that will damage them.

    It won’t be popular , But I see SF the party as being a bit like the Old Unionist party. Bad leadership, ready for a split, using the “don’t rock the boat” message (with more authority and more centralism ) to keep the various factions together, overly powerful.

    Our Salvation will come despite the Leaders of our political parties, through bottom-up meetings of minds and hopefully through the EU. The changes in attitudes I see in everyday life have come despite our local politicians not because or through them.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘The story is not publicly sourced’ is something there has been a lot of in the last few weeks.

    Fact of the matter is if they knew what was discussed at alleged meetings why didn’t they act on the fact that instead of bombings the go ahead was given for the Northern. Or is this simply the case of wanting to be seen to have an idea what was going on.

    Pack of lies if you ask me.

  • George

    Abortion has been kicked into touch south of the border until 2020 at least I’d say so SF don’t have to worry about that here.

    North of the border most of SF’s voters are permanently alienated from the state and question its legitimacy.
    South of the border, many are alienated but very few question the legitimacy of the Irish state – at least not in public.

    It will be interesting how SF deal with this problem in the long term.

    They won’t get into government as long as the IRA, who openly deny the legitimacy of the Irish state, are about.

    “the abandonment of armed struggle, and necessarily the presentation, particularly to their core supporters, of a new strategy as a better way of achieving the old traditional aims.”

    That way is through the ballot box north of the border and Dail Eireann south of the border. They have to accept its legitimacy in the long term because I assume most Northern nationalists also accept Dail Eireann’s legitimacy (DUP don’t as evidenced by Paisley’s refusal to shake Bertie’s hand in public).

    If Dail Eireann accepts Sinn Fein in government, then middle class Northerners will vote for them in growing numbers.

    When you say “our” salvation are you talking about the people of the six counties or the whole island?

  • Davros

    Abortion has the potential my side of the border George.

    When you say “our” salvation are you talking about the people of the six counties or the whole island?

    The six George. The 26 are irrelevent to the primary need on this side of the border, getting the two communities to come to terms with each other – and I mean no disrespect. This is something we have to sort out at ground level.
    One of the mistakes people make is in not recognising that The Northern nationalist community are very different from the broad mass of people in the ROI. Ulster always has been different from what I can see and the Industrialisation in the 19th century and events of the 20th Century have exaggerated and localised the differences.

  • Fraggle

    “Ulster always has been different from what I can see and the Industrialisation in the 19th century and events of the 20th Century have exaggerated and localised the differences.”

    That is a sweeping generalization that I don’t accept. Many northerners have family in the republic, live there, spend holidays there, work there or just go there a lot. There are a lot of trivial differences that arise from the framework of everyday life such as the currency used, the different health and tax systems and so on but we northern nationalists are irish. we’re not pretending in order to annoy unionists. if i met an englishman and a corkman in a foreign country, I know which I’d identify as my fellow countryman. If I met a corkman and a northern protestant, i’d probably be midway between the two with differences and similarities to both.

    Northern nationalists are not a big homogeneous group either. There are big differences between ones from Derry and Belfast, between country and city and so on. These differences occur all over Ireland.

  • George

    Davros,
    The main difference is that northern nationalists are permanently alienated from “their” state and I don’t see any attempts by unionists or their representatives to address this even after 83 years of partition.

    What I do see is an effort to criminalise the main manifestation of this alienation, the large Sinn Fein vote, but no understanding or attempt at understanding.

    Instead, anything that is held in esteem by the nationalist population of Northern Ireland or the Irish people as a whole is slammed and denigrated.

    As for “The 26 are irrelevent to the primary need on this side of the border, getting the two communities to come to terms with each other”, I disagree.

    Unionists cannot make peace with the Irish people north of the border alone. It’s too late for that now. The border may be there but on this issue we are indivisible.

  • Davros

    Ah well, we’ll have to agree to disagree then George.

    Yes Fraggle it’s a sweeping generalisation but it has legs. The Táin, The South Ulster Drumlin Belt, Ulster largely escaped Viking rule, Ulster was the last part of Ireland to be shired, a seperate dialect of Irish, Ulster was Industrialised to a far greater extent, Ulster played no part in events of Easter 1916, Nationalist Ulster largely rejected SF in the 1918 elections, even the IRA and SF disengaged themselves from Southern command.

  • cg

    Davros
    This is a very sweeping generalisation.

    I have family north and south and so don’t accept this “Ulster model”.

    Defiantly more similarities than differences.

  • Davros

    cg- so have I – Dublin and Cork! But we don’t like to talk about them (Bíonn caora dhubh ar an tréad is gile.) LOL 😉

    Of course Irish Nationalists will want to push homogeneity. I’ll counter that with pointing out that Ireland has been split into provinces for thousands of years. If they are all the same, why ?

  • cg

    “I’ll counter that with pointing out that Ireland has been split into provinces for thousands of years. If they are all the same, why ?”

    There is no problem with that Davros the problem occurs when you do the Unionist thing of going for Ulster v ROI, see below

    “The Northern nationalist community are very different from the broad mass of people in the ROI”

    Of course each part of the Island has differences, that’s the same with all countries but it doesn’t mean we aren’t the same in all of the important bits.

  • smcgiff

    ‘in all of the important bits.’

    We all break out in a million freckles on day one of a holiday to the Canaries?
    Love to hate the English/the Dubs?
    Are the butt of English/Dub jokes?

    🙂

  • Davros

    you do the Unionist thing

    How dare you Sirrah! Is this your revenge for my Prescott witticism ? 😉 First chance I get of pointing out a hint of Stoopishness in any of your posts , I’ll have you!

    I’m relying on my studies here, sociology and anthropology and all that sort of thing 🙂

  • Davros

    Love to hate the English/the Dubs?

    I have a wonderful paper on something similar about the Scots and the English 🙂

    “‘We Hate the English, Except for You, Cos
    You’re Our Pal’: Identification of the ‘English’ in
    Scotland “

  • smcgiff

    ‘Cos You’re Our Pal’

    Is that Scottish for ’employer’?

  • Travis

    I’ve just read the story in The Observer regarding an Irish government briefing that claimed a return to a London bombing campaign was on the cards.

    And I’m amazed, frankly, that so-called intelligent people are giving this any credence, let alone having the stupidity to publish it.

    Before any one shouts me down please consider two little points:

    a) If the Irish government knew what was going on at this meeting, and it must’ve happened some time ago as the robbery took a long time to plan, then why didn’t they do something about it?

    b) If some of them had their heeart set on a ‘spectacular’ terrorist attack in England, how on earth would a robbery in Belfast placate them? What type of pressure would that exert on Blair?

    Jouralism at its finest, eh?

  • Davros

    LOL – you wicked man.

  • George

    Davros,
    I have never considered nationalists from over the border to be any less or more Irish than me. Don’t ask me why but they were always compatriots, even in senior infants when we were shown the map of Ireland, and always will be.

    And that’s from a man from within the pale whose ancestors were unionist. We are not a homogenous people but we are the Irish people.

    This is why I say unionism must make peace with the Irish people not try and divide us into different parts and make peace with a northern rump.

    Remember it is only the unionists who claim to be a separate people from the rest of us on this island. The rest of us feel quite happy with calling each other fellow Irishmen and women.

    P.S. I don’t remember ever reading about this ancient Ulster of yours bowing meekly before a foreign king, denying any sense of Irishness and calling themselves simply British.

    I can see Cuchulainn, a man who killed blackbirds as far south as Munster, saying he wanted his interests represented by the Sasanach alright. None of the ancient stories speak of Ulster being British. 🙂

  • cg

    smcgiff

    “We all break out in a million freckles on day one of a holiday to the Canaries?
    Love to hate the English/the Dubs?
    Are the butt of English/Dub jokes?”

    Absolutely 🙂
    ………………………………………….

    Davros

    “How dare you Sirrah! Is this your revenge for my Prescott witticism”

    Yes LOL

    “First chance I get of pointing out a hint of Stoopishness in any of your posts”

    Never happen

  • Davros

    I don’t remember ever reading about this ancient Ulster of yours bowing meekly before a foreign king, denying any sense of Irishness and calling themselves simply British.

    I’m getting Tired of being labelled a Unionist!!!!!!

    but you are right in one thing, SF All-Ireland ACCEPTED the British King. Important to remember in SF’s centenary year, eh cg ? 😉

    And the British King was accepted during the British Civil War and onwards – Jacobinism and all that …..

    Remember it is only the unionists who claim to be a separate people from the rest of us on this island. The rest of us feel quite happy with calling each other fellow Irishmen and women.

    It’s siesta time, but do I have to track down references to “Black Northerners” by Southern nationalists about ALL the people of NI ?

  • cg

    “SF All-Ireland ACCEPTED the British King. Important to remember in SF’s centenary year, eh cg ? ;)”

    LOL, It’s time to get dirty Davros

    BTW I was reading Adrian Guelke’s book “Northern Ireland:The International perspective” and actually came across your “Unionist/unionist” term.;)

  • Davros

    I told you I would have revenge cg 🙂

    Guelke ? I’ll check that one out, I presume it has pictures LOL More books to sit around unread.

    Cheers aye.

  • smcgiff

    “Unionist/unionist”

    Oh this should be interesting, I trust neither of ye are referring to TRADE unionists here?!?

  • cg

    Davros

    It’s still more fun to refer to you as a Unionist as it rattles you, LOL 😉

    Adrian Guelke is a South Africian, He’s my course conveynor in Depply Divided Societies. Very intelligent man

  • George

    You say you are not happy with being labelled unionist Davros but do you believe as they do that you are part of a separate people to me and my fellow Irish citizens?

    I think it’s actually black-hearted northerners but an equally popular term would be Miwadis. The rest of them up your part of the island are chuckies, mullahs and bog warriors 🙂

    To my knowledge, Leftfooter is only used to describe the southern anti-transubstantiationists and the only people given the British treatment are the Dubs who are called Jakcins as in Little (union) Jacks by their resentful rural neighbours…

  • Davros

    A South African ?????

    Had a look, no copies to be had …. any likely to be available at the SF bookshops ? Dare I call in to the local SF office and ask ? 😉

  • Davros

    You say you are not happy with being labelled unionist Davros

    No, I’m not happy with being labelled a Unionist.
    There’s a huge difference George. You Southerners know nahin’ about us Northerners 😉

  • cg

    Davros I got the book last night from the library in queens

    As far as I’m aware there are no copies in our book shop but you can always call in, don’t worry they won’t bite. 😉

  • Davros

    Are they used to people coming in wearing wigs and a false nose and glasses ? Will they take Northern Bank £20 notes ? 😉

  • George

    But do you believe as they (unionists) do that you are part of a separate people to me and my fellow Irish citizens Davros?

  • cg

    Don’t wear a wig Davros, If your bald just accept it.

    I won’t even comment on the last statement 😉

  • Davros

    Again George I don’t accept your use of the word
    “unionist” where I would use “Unionist”.
    Bloody Heck, it’s snowing and heavily!

  • George

    Ok Davros,
    2 questions:

    Do you believe you are part of a separate people to me and my fellow Irish citizens?

    Is this separate people made up for the most part unionists and Unionists?

  • Davros

    cg- you realise that I’m blaming your party for the weather ? LOL

  • cg

    Davros as a “Unionist” would you honestly be afraid of entering a Sinn Féin shop? 😉

  • cg

    Davros

    “cg- you realise that I’m blaming your party for the weather”

    LOL, you might as well we’re blamed for everything anyway 😉

    As a matter of interest, any proof?

  • smcgiff

    ‘Davros as a “Unionist” would you honestly be afraid of entering a Sinn Féin shop? ;)’

    Depends:- Are you asking him if he’d be afraid of a hiding or the possibility of being lured to the Dark Side!!

  • Davros

    Davros as a “Unionist”

    Ahem ! I can imagine the looks I would get – “Proddy” face, eyes so far apart me ears are touching behind me head and I wander upto the counter and ask

    “have you a signed copy of Into the Millennium: 20th Century Messages for 21st Century Living ? ”

  • cg

    smcgiff

    LOL

    He shouldn’t be afraid of a hiding because it would never happen but if I was in that shop he would be turned to the dark side.

    I love the Dark side, it’s great 😉

  • cg

    “Davros as a “Unionist”

    Ahem !”

    LOL, That will teach you refering to me as Prescott or a stoop

    “Proddy” face, eyes so far apart me ears are touching behind me head”

    I wouldn’t be that Davros but the way you walked 😉

  • Davros

    Do you believe you are part of a separate people to me and my fellow Irish citizens?

    No. I am from a different community, the unionist community. And the negative aspect of the I-A agreement and the GFA is that the binary and oppositional aspect of Northern Ireland has been fossilised and accepted by a large majority in the referenda.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I love the Dark side, it’s great ;)’

    Tune in next week when it’s revealed that CG is Davros’ father!!!!

  • cg

    “Tune in next week when it’s revealed that CG is Davros’ father!!!!”

    LOL, my son would never vote sdlp

  • Davros

    You been reading those Julian May books Seamus ? 😉

  • smcgiff

    ‘You been reading those Julian May books Seamus ? ;)’

    I’m proud to say, after looking her up in the webamagibbit, that your reference is the first I’ve ever heard of her! 🙂

  • George

    Davros,
    “No. I am from a different community, the unionist community. And the negative aspect of the I-A agreement and the GFA is that the binary and oppositional aspect of Northern Ireland has been fossilised and accepted by a large majority in the referenda.”

    I see this too, the side effect of this polarisation being that northern nationalists are now more part of my community than the “greater” Northern Ireland community.

    In fact, they are more part of my community now than they have been in my life (born at the start of the troubles) to date.

    This is evidenced by the 50,000 living down here permanently now, them trying to take over the GAA with their hogging of Sam, support for Brian Kerr’s team, the rise of SF etc.

    I don’t know where this is leading us but I don’t think it’s good for the long term link with Britain.

  • IJP

    Interesting stuff.

    This is why I say unionism must make peace with the Irish people not try and divide us into different parts and make peace with a northern rump.

    This is an awkward statement for a number of reasons though.

    Firstly, many unionists (or, shall we say, ‘non-Nationalists’ or ‘Ulster-British’) do consider themselves Irish. There are very few members of my own family – none of whom votes Nationalist-1 – who would claim to be anything other than resolutely ‘Irish’. It’s just that they see ‘Irish’ as a regional identity of ‘British’. So they can’t ‘make peace with the Irish people’, they are the Irish people!

    Secondly, it leads inevitably into the blame game. I would think most Unionists reading that would instinctively reply ‘Actually, why don’t the “Irish people” make peaces with us?’ The first question I asked myself, as an Ulster-British Irish Protestant, was what can I do to make peace, not what others should do to make peace with me (or ‘us’, whoever ‘we’ are). Until more people keep framing it as if it is the ‘other side’ that has all the responsibility for peace-making, we’ll always have bitterness and instability.

    Thirdly, unfortunately or not, NI is different! I speak as one whose grandparents grew up in the 26, who has business associates and has had girlfriends in the 26, who remains a regular visitor to the 26. It is a thoroughly different place, anyone being objective recognizes that. Just take the Dubliner who the other day asked me ‘Do you come to Ireland often?’… In other words, the Republic already is stable, democratic and prosperous. The North isn’t. It is therefore entirely justifiable to ask – before and above anything else – how we make the North stable, democratic and prosperous. Much like the old Nationalist line that ‘the English see us all as Paddies’ (not entirely true but not far off), there could be an equally strong Unionist line that ‘Southerners see us all as Northerners’ (likewise).

    Remember it is only the unionists who claim to be a separate people from the rest of us on this island. The rest of us feel quite happy with calling each other fellow Irishmen and women.

    Firstly, as noted above, not all of them do. Many would rather not have partition, but simply wish to remain within the British State. Since their fellow Irishmen did not want this, partition was the compromise. In short they might see that the other way around – they see everyone in the British Isles as ‘British’, it is only Nationalists who claim to be a separate people. No one’s right and no one’s wrong, and we should stop expecting to wake up one morning with the other ‘side’ saying ‘You know, you were right all along, we are “X-ish”, just like you…’

    Secondly, few (thinking) Unionists would deny that Nationalists North and South constitute a single people. Nevertheless, they live in separate jurisdictions. It is entirely legitimate for Unionists to seek compromise and stability only with those who share that jurisdiction. Davros‘ point about the North being a separate place socially and historically is a weak argument for unionists to pursue in my opinion because of all the parallels and crossovers that go on, but it has a degree of legitimacy.

    Thirdly, essentially we’re talking about identities in reverse. Where many Unionists see ‘Irish’ as a regional identity and others see ‘Ulster’ as a national identity, many (all?) Nationalists see ‘Northern Irish’ and ‘Ulster’ as regional identities. Again, no one’s right and no one’s wrong.

    The real point, at the end of all this, is that culture is something you grow up with and identity is something you choose – the Agreement is entirely clear about that.

    And that’s all fine. The question is why on earth we continue to make political choices based on cultures and identities which are not going to change and which are inherently divisive.

    Because regardless of labels I’ll tell you one thing’s for sure: we in the North have a hell of a lot more in common with each other than we have with anyone else.

  • IJP

    CG’s son is a well-known Alliance voter, in fact… 🙂

  • cg

    I have no son!!! 😉

  • Davros

    Davros’ point about the North being a separate place socially and historically is a weak argument for unionists to pursue in my opinion because of all the parallels and crossovers that go on, but it has a degree of legitimacy.

    If I can enlarge upon this IJP, I don’t want to “pursue this point”, I’m discussing a situation that has some reality historically. I personally would like to pursue a Socialist European republic of regions. Loyalism is keen to pursue the point for their own reasons. Mainstream Unionism ? Complicated.

    Something that has to be remembered is that, when looking at and discussing perceptions of NI, because one offers a viewpoint does not mean that one endorses that viewpoint.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I have no son!!! ;)’

    Very harsh! To disown your own son over politics. FOR SHAME!!

  • willowfield

    Davros

    Unionism – with the exception of the PUP – is solidly right wing.

    “Solidly right wing” – what does that mean?

    Fraggle

    if i met an englishman and a corkman in a foreign country, I know which I’d identify as my fellow countryman.

    So do I, and it wouldn’t be the “Corkman”.

  • willowfield

    For what it’s worth, I predict that the Provo vote will rise again at the next election. The Provo electorate either doesn’t care whether or not the Provos did the robbery, doesn’t believe it, or doesn’t want to believe it. Any who are dubious will find some way to rationalise their vote (encouraging them along the path to peace; opposition to unionist rejectionists/securocrats; whatever).

  • Davros

    what does that mean?

    It means they are not left wing and to the right of Centre.

  • cg

    “Very harsh! To disown your own son over politics. FOR SHAME!!”

    By voting stoop he would shame me, I have no son!! 😉

  • Mark McGregor

    wf,

    ‘Provo electorate’?

    I take it you come from the dehumanise as well as disenfranchise camp?

  • cg

    Willowfield

    While I take your reference to ‘Provo electorate’ as a compliment I don’t think it accurately represents the Nationalist community.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    9/11 changed the rules

    Iraq might yet change them back. The Americans are losing there. It will prove yet again that an occupying force can’t defeat a risen people.

    But I don’t see that as having any relevence to our position. The stories about an IRA people wanting a spectacular and being consoled by robbing the NB are the kind of thing that only get published because so many journalists are now embedded with the anti-Sinn Fein side. It is the most absurd thing i have ever read.

  • JD

    There are very few members of my own family – none of whom votes Nationalist-1 – who would claim to be anything other than resolutely ‘Irish’. It’s just that they see ‘Irish’ as a regional identity of ‘British’.

    Interesting. But it is the desire to subsume “Irish” under “British” that causes the problems. How would you feel about a “Britishness” subsumed under an inclusive “Irishness”?

    It’s worth noting that an expanded and inclusive “Irishness” that includes other nationalities is slowly evolving in the South, and I applaud it.

  • cg

    “It’s worth noting that an expanded and inclusive “Irishness” that includes other nationalities is slowly evolving in the South”

    Sure about that JD? The growth of racism is scary in some parts

  • JD

    I’m not saying there is no racism: that would be false.

    But I am saying that there is an emerging opportunity for constructing an inclusive Irishness. It won’t happen overnight, and it isn’t all roses, but the fact is immigration is changing Ireland.

  • cg

    I agree but to suggest most southerners or even the Irish in general haven’t slight racist tendencies is being naive. I don’t believe the Irish are racists but we are a country whose people have had to travel for work and worked all over the world but some of our people have very short memories about Daddy going away for work.

    I seen a sick joke on another blog site which referred to the Irish fighting the black and tans but now they had to fight the blacks with prams…Sick bigots

    The Ireland of a thousand welcomes is long gone.

  • Davros

    I seen a sick joke on another blog site which referred to the Irish fighting the black and tans but now they had to fight the blacks with prams…Sick bigots

    That sort of thing disgusts me.

  • cg

    Me too, I hate racists

  • Davros

    Did the Ireland of a Thousand Welcomes ever exist outside of Tourist Literature ?

  • cg

    I don’t know

  • Davros

    Here’s another book recommendation –

    Tomorrow Was Another Day 1970
    Seamus O Connor
    Anvil paper back 140 slightly tanned pages, with small turned edge to bottom of spine good tight reader. The irreverent humourous earthy memories of an Irish rebel school master. Enniskillen, The Civil War, Escape, Tan War Truce, In Prison. The story of a way of life and things that happened almost half a century ago.Scarce book £10

  • maca

    “I agree but to suggest most southerners or even the Irish in general haven’t slight racist tendencies is being naive”

    Most people. Your post almost suggests it’s an Irish thing which is far from the truth. You’ll find racism problems in just about every country on earth, even though countries you wouldn’t expect it.
    In Irelands case remember that it’s only in very recent years (3-4) that we have had an influx of immigrats. We’ve had a LOT of people come to the state in a very short space of time and it will take time for the Irish people to adjust.

    “Did the Ireland of a Thousand Welcomes ever exist outside of Tourist Literature ?”

    I believe so. And many foreigners I know who have visited Ireland would back me up. But unfortunatly Ireland has changed, now it’s more like Ireland of the Couple of Hundred Welcomes, and that number is falling.
    Cúpla Céad Fáilte!