Yes to powersharing, equality and human rights!

It may be a measure of the successful modernisation of Unionism that a so-called hardliner like Bob McCartney can argue in today’s Belfast Telegraph:

Everyone accepts the requirement for cross-community power sharing. Equality together with civil and human rights is not an issue. But a party which, after seven years, is still completely immersed in political and social terror and widespread criminality, has no place now or in the future in Archbishop Brady’s “Modern Democracy”.

  • Snapper

    Are we now re-writing the definition of Democracy. Like them or loathe them, but untill people stop voting for SF, Bobby can keep whistling! Their political opponents can of course continue to ignore them if they so choose, but that is all they can do.

  • Tim Roll-Pickering

    Everyone accepts the requirement for cross-community power sharing.

    Whatever happened to Bob’s total integrationism?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bob’s politics changes pretty much with the wind direction. The man’s view has been of pretty much no relevance to anyone other than his mates who write the editorial of the Belfast Telegraph, which since the 1995 North Down by-election appears to have been willing to give him all the positive coverage he has ever wanted.

    I’m afraid this seems like another instance of something I seem to be hearing a lot within the past few months – “we’d love to share power with people who weren’t linked to paramilitarism”. Unionism collectively appears to be engaged in some kind of revisionism; it is of course complete rubbish.

    There were three or four attempts to create powersharing without paramilitarism since 1969, and unionism wrecked all of them, after having refused to take the opportunity to share power since the creation of the state.

    Even up to the present day they’ve consistently refused to share power in bodies such as the Belfast City Council, preferring to elect loyalist paramilitary linked individuals to the to leadership position rather than a moderate, non-paramilitary SDLP figure.

    Last week was the first time in the state’s 85ish year history that unionists have been able to bring themselves to vote for a non-unionist as Deputy Lord Mayor.

    Unionists should be conceding their errors and looking to how they will correct them in the future.

  • fair_deal

    Pat

    Where exactly does he slag off the DUP?

    CS

    “three or four attempts to create powersharing without paramilitarism since 1969”

    Please list?

  • garret

    Decommissioning was not required in the GFA.

  • Alan McDonald

    Garret,

    My copy of the GFA has a section 7. Decommissioning. Did you not get a complete one?

    BTW, I had this same argument with a Friend of Sinn Fein over here in the USA. He wrote an opinion piece in the local newspaper insisting that there was nothing about decommisioning in the GFA, and I had to set the record straight.

  • 6countyprod

    decommissioning was not required in the GFA.

    That’s why it was such a poor agreement for the people of NI. True democrats by definition do not need a violent armed wing to intimidate their political opposition. That’s the method of Stalin and Hitler.

  • D’Oracle

    So the conclusion to be drawn from the piece has to be that not “everyone accepts the requirement for cross-community power sharing”

    Isn’t that what this chap’s been saying for years?

  • Roger

    Why do people insist in bringing the GFA into it it was overwhelmingly rejected by unionists some weeks ago it over as Mark Durkan said its ‘dead in the water’.

  • aquifer

    Seventy one percent of British Citizens in Northern Ireland voted for this constitutional agreement. The UK parliament have enacted supporting legislation, and the ROI voted for it too. Its a done deal. Walz around it if you will, avert your eyes if you must, but it will stand because the parties cannot agree an alternative among themselves.

  • Colm

    Strictly speaking the GFA was a nonentity. It was little more than a semi-official ‘gentlemans handshake’ agreement that only had substance in the consequent governmental legislation that followed. It wasn’t a single legal document ratified ny binding signatory agreement and ratified as an International treaty like the Anglo-Irish agreement. The GFA only verbally commited all relevant political parties to do their best to work towards achieving decommissioning by third party illegal paramilitary organisations.

    It would have been more honest if the government had openly brought in the IRA/UDA etc and separately negotiated a hard and fast copper bottomed framework to co-ordinate prisoner releases with full verifiable and complete decommissioning and disbandment. Any paramilitary group that refused to comply would not have had a single prisoner released.

    It may have been equally unpalatable but it would have been a lot more honest and transparent and solid.

  • Roger

    What has the ROI voting for it got to do with anything.

    Does the fact that 2/3 of unionists are against it count for nothing or can their views be simply treated as irrelevant.

  • aquifer

    Don’t be coy, you know the history.

    You saw the text, you voted, live with it like British adults instead of pestering for a protestant veto. Unionists may have a complaint against the British for their indulgence of sectarian difference and gungangs, sure, but the nationalists are entitled to insist that the agreement is honoured unless they are offered a better one, and that’s a bun Ian Paisley is unlikely to have in his oven.

  • G2

    “and that’s a bun Ian Paisley is unlikely to have in his oven.”

    The only thing Paisley want’s to see stuck in the oven, and cremated to a cinder is the GFA..

    No one believes SF when they say they want to see the **IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GFA**, SF want the GFA cremated to a cinder likewise and a United Ireland created instead.

  • Turlough o’ kane

    roger has a point which as most of us know that the good friday agreement is not accepted by the majority of unionists , however an overall majority of the peoplke of ni do some unionists and a vast majotity of nationlists , pre good friday agreement unionist politicians were demanding internal settlemnts etc because the majority of people wanted it eg unionists this is an inconsistent to say he least

  • garret

    Decommissioning was not in the GFA. Somebody tell Bob McCartney and the unionists.

  • PS

    Decommissioining was certainly in the Belfast Agreement, however the IRA were not a signatory to that agreement.

  • Snapper

    Oh what a delight – when is a majority not a majority? Answer – when a unionist says so. Get it into your heads guys, the GFA is the only show in town and was democratically put into being by the majority of the people in good ship NI. The fact that a majority of Protestants don’t like it now is quite frankly tough! A protestant majority only comes into effect within the confines of the GFA structures. Remember also, every time a deal is ditched and re-negotiated unionism generally comes out the worse – so maybe a new GFA MKII should be fought for!

  • cladycowboy

    Roger

    ‘Does the fact that 2/3 of unionists are against it count for nothing or can their views be simply treated as irrelevant.’

    I agree with Snappers sentiments. I’d have said that 98% of Romanists in the six county area would have objected to the Partition of Ireland, where they listened to?
    Tell you what, we’ll drop the GFA if you’ll drop this partition craic…

  • cladycowboy

    Roger

    ‘Does the fact that 2/3 of unionists are against it count for nothing or can their views be simply treated as irrelevant.’

    I agree with Snapper’s sentiments. I’d have said that 98% of Romanists in the six county area were against partition, were they treated as an irrelevance?
    Tell you what, we’ll drop the GFA if you’ll drop this partition craic…

  • IJP

    PS

    SF isn’t a signatory either. But it represents the IRA politically and claims to support the Agreement.

    Does it?

  • IJP

    Comrade Stalin is spot on.

    Everyone accepts the requirement for cross-community power sharing.

    No they don’t. Most Unionists I know prefer direct rule, which is not cross-community power-sharing.

    Equality together with civil and human rights is not an issue.

    It very much is the issue. Unionists have still shown zero understanding of quite why, given their historical legacy, non-Unionists demand precise assurances on these issues. It is not good enough just blythely to say ‘Oh well, the UK Government signed the European Convention’. It can just as easily flout the European Convention (and has done, even in recent months). A sizeable proportion of people in NI do not trust the UK Government at all, and that lack of trust, given our history, is entirely understandable and legitimate. Until these issues are overcome, there can be no civic society and no proper democracy in NI.

    But a party which, after seven years, is still completely immersed in political and social terror and widespread criminality, has no place now or in the future in Archbishop Brady’s “Modern Democracy”.

    Correct. But until the above issues are resolved, and we have civic society in which both law-making and law-enforcing institutions are generally accepted, it’ll continue to draw significant support.

    The problem is too many people, Bob included, are waiting for ‘others’ to solve these problems, rather than taking responsibility for them themselves.

  • PS

    IJP

    Sinn Féin represents its voters politically and it does support the agreement and has shown a constant commitment to the agreement.

  • garret

    Well said PS. The IRA never supported the GFA as such. The IRA and SF are two separate organisations. IRA decommissioning was not in the GFA as such.

  • barnshee

    “IRA decommissioning was not in the GFA as such.”

    It is however on a blackboard in the University of Ulster -in toe rag tony`s fair hand carefully preserved for all to see .

  • IJP

    PS

    You can twist it anyway you like, the IRA is represented politically by SF.

    SF’s commitment to the Agreement, which contains decommissioning, recognition for the legitimacy of NI, full acceptance of the British identity of many in NI, etc etc is extremely questionable.

  • garret

    Sorry but there is no specific requirements regarding IRA decommissioning in the GFA, although unionists like to pretend otherwise. The GFA requires any number of referenda until just ONE delivers (by the demographics) a United Ireland on a 50%+1. The GFA requires unionists to share power with republicans. The GFA does not legitimise partition and it is not Sinn Fein that are in breach of the GFA, it is the unionists and the British.

  • garret

    And another thing is that in the GFA decommissioning is not a precondition for an Executive to be set up.

  • Davros

    garret – worth remembering that patten isn’t obligatory ….and changes could be reversed.

  • bertie

    Comrade Stalin & IJP

    I think that a lot of unionists have actually changed their minds on power sharing and at times seem enthusiastic about it, even in private conversations, not just for spin. I personnally am not one of them,(if virtually everyone is in government how do you vote them out?). Most other unionists that I talk to would seem to prefer power sharing with SDLP to direct rule, but would prefer direct rule to power sharing with SF/IRA.

    I interpreted “Equality together with civil and human rights is not an issue” as Mick saying that unionists didn’t have a mojor problem with it as opposed to these things not being important.

    “sizeable proportion of people in NI do not trust the UK Government at all”. I don’t blame them! I know I don’t! In fact that is probably the unifying factor. Can we build on that? :o)

  • Davros

    IJP to PS : “SF’s commitment to the Agreement, which contains decommissioning, recognition for the legitimacy of NI, full acceptance of the British identity of many in NI, etc etc is extremely questionable.”

    I’d like to ask Paddy if SF have ceased to recognise or support the Mitchell principles ?

  • bertie

    “Oh what a delight – when is a majority not a majority? Answer – when a unionist says so.”

    When does it cease to be important that a majority of unionists and of nationalists buy into something? Answer when the unionists don’t!

  • garret

    Sorry but decommissioning is not a precondition to powersharing in the GFA. Unionists should enter the executive, if they did so then decommissioning could follow but the IRA will not act under pressure, it will only act once the executive is up and running. Decommissioning is anyway a red herring, since if the IRA got rid of some weapons it could get some more without difficulty.

  • martin

    jeff and ian junior be not bold

    your second in command peter be bought and sold

  • Davros

    Unionists should enter the executive
    don’t you respect their mandate ? The DUP are mandated NOT to enter the executive with SF until the IRA decommission.

    if they did so then decommissioning could follow

    On the other hand it might not follow ….. they didn’t decommission completely when SF had 2 ministers in an executive …. are you seriously expecting people to rely on IRA integrity and fair play ?

  • garret

    “don’t you respect their mandate ? The DUP are mandated NOT to enter the executive with SF until the IRA decommission.”

    Sorry that is not in the GFA.

    “On the other hand it might not follow ….. they didn’t decommission completely when SF had 2 ministers in an executive …. are you seriously expecting people to rely on IRA integrity and fair play ?”

    First, the GFA does not require IRA decommissioning. Second, if politics was shown to work then who knows what might happen but IRA decommissioning is a red herring, just a polite way for unionists to avoid having a catholic about the place. Convenient but the real reasons to be against powersharing with SF are deeper – unionists are terrified of change.

  • Davros

    Garret – where is it in the GFA that the DUP be made to participate in an executive? SF spent a lot of time playing games about things not in the GFA and negotiating sleekit secret deals…
    Parity required….

  • PS

    Davros

    Sinn Féin signed up to the Mitchell Principles and continue to support them as evidenced by GErry Adams’ recent plea to the IRA. Although I’m too young to remember myself, I believe the IRA clearly stated at the time that they had not.

    My point is that it is only the IRA not Sinn Féin who can decommission.

    Let me be clear though that I believe the IRA should discommission all arms fully in line with the Mitchell principles.

  • Davros

    Thanks for the clarification Paddy 🙂

    Not convinced by Gerry’s recent ‘plea’ being a great illustration – that it is being presented as a radical step forward would suggest, if anything, that Gerry has only recently come round to full support of Mitchell principles- otherwise surely he would have made this plea years ago?

  • T.Ruth

    There is nothing extreme in the DUP position-the party can not be regarded as being on the opposite end of a continuum from Sinn Fein.
    The reality is that the republican movement is a squalid sectarian,racist confederation which cannot recognise justice,truth,equality as these are alien concepts for a people bent on the destruction of Northern Ireland.

  • cladycowboy

    T.Ruth

    You’ve got to be a nationalist troll stirring up some shit. If not then LOL, but you’re a sick and deluded Irishman. Yes Padre…

  • T.Ruth

    Touched an early morning nerve there in suggesting that having a private army has no place in democratic politics-proves my point I think.
    When will republicans have the confidence to rely on the strength of political argument and accept demographic and political reality? Their continued inability to respect the ethnic origin, culture and political opinions of others, combined with a lack of respect for the ballot box, marks them out as unsuitable to be involved in responsibility sharing government. No mandate can justify evil actions.

  • aquifer

    Bob’s comments do count as an attempt to address political reality. Could be a move against big Ian.

  • cladycowboy

    T.Ruth

    ‘Touched an early morning nerve there in suggesting that having a private army has no place in democratic politics-proves my point I think.
    When will republicans have the confidence to rely on the strength of political argument and accept demographic and political reality?’

    Sorry, you’ll have to explain to me, as a republican, just what democracy is.
    I mean, is it right to say that the foundation of Northern Ireland was on a democratic basis?
    Did ethnic self-determination play a big part in this, and if so would you as a democrat accept the possible wish for self-determination of nationalist majority counties?
    If not, just when is democracy to be enacted?
    Do you think the Ulster covenant, which in essence won the Government of Ireland act, with its 100,000 armed men and threat of civil war was a democratic act?
    Please help my sick sectarian little mind with this one please, tell me the T.Ruth about british democracy…

    S

  • Davros

    CC- do you, like most Irish republicans, support the Basques ? If so you should have no complaints about how NI came into being.

  • cladycowboy

    Davros,

    I have no overt affinity to the Basque people. This is mainly due, to my embarassment, that i know little of their history.
    I can have some sympathy with regards to their language which has been attacked in much the same way Irish has by the ruling powers, substituting the imposition of Castillian whereas here it was English.
    I think there was an element of Castillian expansionism/imperialism to expel the Moors in the south, and that the Basques may have ended up as part of this new empire which is modern day Spain. Catalonia may also have been annexed in this way. There is probably similar stories of Basque rulers joining with the Castillian leaders for personal gain and leaving the Basques with the legacy of their profiteering. To be honest, i’m not sure but if Castille imperialism was involved, then yes i could support the Basque seperatists. I’m assumiong they haven’t been planted in the Basque country as a garrison of another power though! 🙂
    However, i see your move. Trying to bring some relativity and ambivalence to the arguement, muddy the waters? Lets take one case at a time. Look at it on its own and apply your own morality, not the ‘everyone else is getting away with it, why can’t we?’ mentality.

  • garret

    “would you as a democrat accept the possible wish for self-determination of nationalist majority counties”

    Are u arguing for repartition, if so then I disagree, even u may be republican.

  • cladycowboy

    ‘Are u arguing for repartition, if so then I disagree, even u may be republican’

    No i wasn’t garret, that is the cause of Greenflag.
    I was just pointing out that T.Ruth’s version of democracy was merely ethnic self-determination by a community who had racist views of their fellow countrymen. So in effect, T.Ruth should have no problem with this ‘democratic’ act being applied again, say for Tyrone,Fermanagh, Derry and Armagh to be granted self-determination and join the 26 counties.
    In fact, garret, if you don’t like the democratic wishes expressed by your fellow residents in your area, you can arm yourself and declare yourself a Republic. Such is the fundamental basis to the creation of Northern Ireland

  • garret

    cladycowboy so just to clarify you don’t believe in county-by-county self determination?

  • martin

    There will be a DUP first minister in next few months but it will not be big ian ,

  • cladycowboy

    garret,

    Ideologically, i don’t agree with this. However, history is littered with the remains of idealists and monuments to ambitous pragmatists!

  • martin

    garret,

    there will be no repartition ,
    its the whole hog or nothing

  • T.Ruth

    To cc
    At successive elections the majority community here has voted in free elections to remain within the United Kingdom-that is the democratically expressed wish of the majority.
    Republicans always had equal access to the ballot box in the Dail and in Stormont and Westminster elections to promote their political view. The decision to conduct an illegal armed struggle to subvert the legal processes came because their sectarian politics and principles had no prospect of achieving their political objectives by the reason of their case.

  • Davros

    “you don’t believe in county-by-county self determination?”

    why draw the line there ? why not ward by ward ? or parish by parish ? or Townland by townland ? Or house by house ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    fair_deal, the example which spring to mind are :

    – Sunningdale
    – the attempt at an assembly in the early 1980s
    – the Brooke talks in the early 1990s

    all of those were power sharing arrangements, and in all cases unionists were distinctly unenthusiastic about them at best even though at no point were paramilitary-linked nationalists likely to wield power through them.

    Furthermore, unionism had a free hand right throughout the existence of the original Stormont parliament to share power, and didn’t take the opportunity until it was too late. And when some unionists did see the light and decide to advocate even the smallest loosening of the policy of nationalist exclusion from power, they were immediately shouted down by hardliners led by Paisley who would rather see the local parliament torn down rather than have nationalists sit in it.

  • cladycowboy

    T.Ruth,

    ‘Republicans always had equal access to the ballot box in the Dail and in Stormont and Westminster elections to promote their political view’

    Are you sure about that? Why don’t you take a look at Derry City’s version of Democracy prior to Direct rule.
    You’re points are all very valid and would get my entire support if the ‘state’ concerned had been borne of democratic means. It wasn’t, it was created at the behest of 100,000 armed men threatening civil war, and so renders your arguement extinct. Are you proud of this history of democracy here? Its a bit like a boxer getting a punch in first then the rules stipulate that no punches are to be thrown thereafter and so the initial aggressor is forever to win on points. NOT DEMOCRACY.

    Davros,

    ‘why draw the line there ? why not ward by ward ? or parish by parish ? or Townland by townland ? Or house by house ?’

    That sort of backs up my point about the creation of Northern Ireland was just that. The majority wanted home rule, some didn’t so divided.
    If Northern Ireland can claim legitimacy, then so can ‘The Independent Republic of cladycowboy’. Population: 1, Motto: No Surrender

  • martin

    the only reason that there ever was any form of powersharing was due to the piras campaign,the unionist majority would not have shared anythingwith Nationalists until they were forced to by the British who tried to promote internal ulster solutions because they couldnt admit that IRA defeated them,the British never left any of their colonial possessions they were forced out.

    1921 treaty-british forced into negotiations with what they had been describing as a criminal murder gang-gave 26 counties almost full independence , home rule to stormont ,loyd george pulled fast one with boundary commission-promised unionists never would they have to be in an independent ireland,promised republicans that boundary commission would bring such a large area of North into Free State that NORTH WOULD NOT BE VIABLE.

    SUNNINGDALE–FULL british withdrawel was discussed with IRA chief of staff sean mac steffoin.

    ANGLO IRISH AGREEMENT. AN ATTEMPT TO BOPLSTER UP SDLP support and give a measure of dublin consultastion in north to try to divert support from a growing sinn fein and an IRA CAMPAIGN which it couldnt contain

  • martin

    the only reason that there ever was any form of powersharing was due to the piras campaign,the unionist majority would not have shared anythingwith Nationalists until they were forced to by the British who tried to promote internal ulster solutions because they couldnt admit that IRA defeated them,the British never left any of their colonial possessions they were forced out.

    1921 treaty-british forced into negotiations with what they had been describing as a criminal murder gang-gave 26 counties almost full independence , home rule to stormont ,loyd george pulled fast one with boundary commission-promised unionists never would they have to be in an independent ireland,promised republicans that boundary commission would bring such a large area of North into Free State that NORTH WOULD NOT BE VIABLE.

    SUNNINGDALE–FULL british withdrawel was discussed with IRA chief of staff sean mac steffoin.

    ANGLO IRISH AGREEMENT. AN ATTEMPT TO BOPLSTER UP SDLP support and give a measure of Dublin consultation in north to try to divert support from a growing sinn fein and an IRA CAMPAIGN which it couldnt contain

  • cladycowboy

    T.Ruth,

    Its quite clear that the sick counties would be economically superior if it were part of the ROI economic success right now.
    So as a Republican i would claim that a Republic would be vastly superior than what we have now.
    As Clinton said, ‘Its the Economy stoopid’…but no i’m not up against a reasoned argument but a deep emotional attachment.
    Ah, who would be a Republican. Only democratic means to erase an undemocratic entity by persuading others who don’t take heed of reasoned arguments to become republican too…

  • Roger

    Rhinestone

    Thats the first serious arguement I have heard in favour of a NI joining the twenty sick counties.

    I don’t however agree and you need to look at it from a different level even if a vote took place and 51% were in favour of a UI there would likely be a civil war as many unionists would be against it so how would you prevent this.

  • cladycowboy

    There you go again. The much lauded ‘Peaceful, law-abiding, God-fearing majority of NI’ can turn to murderous violence if democracy goes against them. FACADE. Bad is Good.

  • Valenciano

    Garrett: “Decommissioning is anyway a red herring”
    “First, the GFA does not require IRA decommissioning.”

    From the agreement
    DECOMMISSIONING
    1. Participants recall their agreement in the Procedural Motion adopted on 24 September 1997 “that the resolution of the decommissioning issue is an indispensable part of the process of negotiation”

    3. All participants accordingly reaffirm their commitment to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations. They also confirm their intention to continue to work constructively and in good faith with the Independent Commission, and to use any influence they may have, to achieve the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years

    So decommissioning far from being “a red herring” is explicitly stated to be an “indispensable part of the negotiation process.”

    Sinn Fein, as a supporter and participant reaffirmed “their commitment to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations.” that includes the PIRA so sorry but its fairly clear that it does require decommissioning. It is also stretching credibility a little too far to suggest that SF has no influence with the IRA, in which case they are committed to use that influence to bring about decommissioning. Do you think that they’ve done so?

    Comrade Stalin: “the attempt at an assembly in the early 1980s …all of those were power sharing arrangements, and in all cases unionists were distinctly unenthusiastic about them”

    Although to be fair, the SDLP and Sinn Fein boycotted the assembly for the duration of its existence which ruled out the power sharing option.

  • T.Ruth

    To cc and others of a similar political complexion.
    The willingness to share power is in itself an enormous concssion by the majority Unionist community-there are few places in the world where the elected majority includes members of the opposition in positions of Executive authority in government. Perhaps you can give some examples?
    Sharing power with those who accept the legitimacy of the state is fine. Sharing power with those who are opposed to the existence of the state and who have murdered thousands of people to promote their cause does require a formidable degree of courage on the part of Unionists.
    When the IRA is gone,when we see the guns destroyed,when Sinn Fein separates itself from the criminal elements of Republicanism then perhaps dialogue will be a possibility. Meantime the DUP has a democratic mandate and does not need a private sectarian,fascist army to support its political ideology.

  • Young Fogey

    there are few places in the world where the elected majority includes members of the opposition in positions of Executive authority in government

    There are plenty of places with some degree of legally or constitutionally mandated power-sharing, or where force of convention makes it unthinkable for a government not containing members of all the main communal groups to take power, or where minority group members are always part of the government – e.g. Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Lebanon, Bulgaria, Malaysia, etc., etc.

    The idea that power sharing is somehow a gift of a democractically elected Unionist government to give to the rest of us is nonsense – firstly, the British government would never allow it, secondly, it’s dubious whether parties campaigning under a ‘Unionists in government only’ platform could secure an overall majority in Assembly elections.

  • T.Ruth

    Young Fogey

    Of the places you have named are there any where the minority groups being accomodated are opposed diametrically to the existence of the state.
    Are any of the minority or communal groups you know of prepared to murder innocent people in their thousands to undermine the state. Are they prepared to wage war against the economy of the state in which they live to reduce its viability.
    How did republicans develop this mentality? What is different in their culture and educational system that moulds their mentality to believe that violence is justified when political argument fails.How can terrorists live with the knowledge that they have destroyed so many lives in the pursuit of a nineteenth century ideology.
    The failures in our infrastructure are due almost entirely to the use of money for roads,railways,water,sewerage,hospitals,schools being diverted to security and compensation claims connected to IRA violence..
    Much of the poverty of our social, economic and political condition in NI is due to the destructive nature of the IRA campaign which in most cases was directed against Protestant targets,towns and people.The memory of numerous IRA atrocities is deeply felt today in the psyche of Unionists.
    Can you seriously argue that Sinn Fein/IRA is not fascist,sectarian and racist in its activity and thought processes?.

  • cladycowboy

    T.Ruth

    ‘How did republicans develop this mentality? What is different in their culture and educational system that moulds their mentality to believe that violence is justified when political argument fails.How can terrorists live with the knowledge that they have destroyed so many lives in the pursuit of a nineteenth century ideology’

    It appears that there is nothing different in ‘their’ education system or mentality from that of the upstanding unionist moral majority. When Home Rule won the political argument, then loyal, moral Ulster unionists armed themselves to the teeth and threatened civil war unless ‘their’ sick sectarian twisted ideology had their bank rollers in London grant them an illegal statelet. Illegal means has begat illegal means….

  • Valenciano

    T.Ruth, Spanish coalition governments frequently include the Catalan Nationalists (Convergència i Unió) and the Basque Nationalist party (Partido Nacionalista Vasco.) The formers policies have been interpreted as “creeping independence” securing more and more powers at the expense of the centre to create a Catalan state in waiting.

    The latter has recently been seeking (under the controversial Plan Ibarretxe) to breakaway from Spain and have associate member status whereby Basque citizenship, fully independent Basque security forces and judiciary would come into being. (Makes the GFA look almost integrationist!)

    So yes you could very well argue that those groups are diametrically opposed to the existence of the state.

    The ethnic Hungarian party in Romania (Uniunea Democratica Maghiara din România) is usually included in the government although many of them would be quite keen to reunite with Hungary. The electoral system there even sets aside 18 of its 332 seats for ethnic minority groupings, with the result that a wide range of parties is represented. So NI is hardly alone in some form of positive discrimination for minority groupings.

  • T.Ruth

    Young Fogey
    Of the places you have named are there any where the minority groups being accomodated are opposed diametrically to the existence of the state.
    Aare any of the minority or communal groups you are aware of prepared to murder innocent people in their thousands to undermine the state. Are they prepared to wage war against the economy of the state in which they live to reduce its viability.
    How did republicans develop this mentality? What is different in their culture and educational system that moulds their mentality to believe that violence is justified when political argument fails.
    The failures in our infrastructure are due almost entirely to the use of money for roads,railways,water,sewerage,hospitals,schools being diverted to security and compensation claims.
    Much of the poverty of our social, economic and political condition in NI is due to the destructive nature of the IRA campaign which in most cases was directed against Protestant targets,towns and people.
    Claudy and Omagh were notable exceptions.
    Can you seriously argue that Sinn Fein/IRA is not fascist,sectarian and racist in its activity and thought processes?.

  • T.Ruth

    Young Fogey
    Of the places you have named are there any where the minority groups being accomodated are opposed diametrically to the existence of the state.
    Aare any of the minority or communal groups you are aware of prepared to murder innocent people in their thousands to undermine the state. Are they prepared to wage war against the economy of the state in which they live to reduce its viability.
    How did republicans develop this mentality? What is different in their culture and educational system that moulds their mentality to believe that violence is justified when political argument fails.
    The failures in our infrastructure are due almost entirely to the use of money for roads,railways,water,sewerage,hospitals,schools being diverted to security and compensation claims.
    Much of the poverty of our social, economic and political condition in NI is due to the destructive nature of the IRA campaign which in most cases was directed against Protestant targets,towns and people.
    Claudy and Omagh were notable exceptions.
    Can you seriously argue that Sinn Fein/IRA is not fascist,sectarian and racist in its activity and thought processes?.

  • T.Ruth

    cc
    at what point do we leave the past behind and seek to develop a humane equal caring society.
    Does what happened 80 years ago justify continued violence and murder. Surely you can accept the present situation with NI within the United Kingdom and seek to persuade Unionists that they had a secure future in a future United Ireland on the basis that as people of Ireland they have an equal right to hold to the Unionist position. Is Republican equality reserved for Republicans?. Is the Future Ireland a Catholic Ireland for a Catholic people?

  • cladycowboy

    T.Ruth

    “at what point do we leave the past behind and seek to develop a humane equal caring society”

    What is the past? Is it relative for Unionism? Why will you deny Republicans a share of power when all their actions as i type this are in the past?
    I would suggest Justice would be the only foundation possible to build this society you’ve mentioned.
    Is this founding justice obtainable by the IRA disarming and Republicans denouncing the desire for a United Ireland and accepting the legitimacy of NI? is this true justice?

    Or do we look at the founding nature of the State we are trying to save here. Surely, the best chance for a just society is a society living within a just state?
    I suggest that Unionism lost the political argument before the inception of the UUP.
    Ireland voted for Home rule.
    Unionists within the Ulster covenant defied the democratically expressed wishes of the Irish people. The threat of violence led to the creation of NI. NI was borne of violence. NI was not born a just society. NI is still in existence. PIRA will fade out of it. Both born of violence. Only one will survive. Is NI the just one of the two? Has justice been achieved?
    Could justice be better achieved by removing both of these violent creations?
    If you think not, then you reap what you sow

  • Edward & Tubs

    This is a local island for local people…there’s nothing for you here!!

  • Edward & Tubs

    This is a local island for local people…there’s nothing for you here!!

  • Edward & Tubs

    This is a local island for local people…there’s nothing for you here!!

  • Pasty407

    Bob seems to have forgotten that the only political party that did not want a terrorist grouping to call a ceasefire was the DUP, a fact confirmed by David Ervine of the PUP 18 months after the DUP met with the UVF and begged them NOT to call a ceasefire. To this day the DUP have never given an explanation as to why they wanted the Murders to continue!