McWilliams to tackle Bill of Rights first

A fair rule of thumb is that when you take over a new office is that you pick on a high level project and run hard and fast with it. You just need to be sure you can realise enough success to christen your term with. In this interview with PA, Monica McWilliams clearly believes she can succeed at the hurdle which arguably did for her predecessor: the proposed Bill of Rights. The presence of Ards Democratic Unionist councillor Jonathan Bell, is more notable as a conduit for the considerable amount of thinking his party has given to this issue than for his past colourful history. Could be a very bumpy ride!

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    This does not bode well at all. I had considered applying for that job myself but heard on the grapevine that it was being set up for Monica so I didn’t bother.

    I like Monica on a personal level but this appointment and her immediate commitment to the doomed bill of rights project pretty much sets the tone for a divisive and ultimately unsuccessful appointment. It’s a shame as the NIHRC had the potential to be a useful part of the civic discourse in NI and the conceptions behind human rights promotion (such as they are) have something to offer our society.

    The tragedy now is that the continued hijacking of the rights agenda by nationalists, or others who perceive it all through an ethnic lens (what the hell are protestant rights? compared to human rights in general, someone explain that to me please!) will dominate and the broader agenda will be buried in all the noise. As I see it the problem with the concept of human rights is that it is inextricably part of the wider political discourse and more importantly the political consensus in any society. Without a wide political consensus it becomes simply political preference promotion in the guise of human rights. This was always Brice Dickson problem he never understood the political parameters within which he should have operated and tried to promote an agenda that had no deep or wider support. He needed to have few more conversations with Michael Ignatieff in my view. The failure of the Bill of Rights project was a perfect illustration of this misunderstanding.

    The NIHRC has been discredited in the past few years and is a badly damaged institution; it does not currently have the community, or political capacity to engage in a rights creation project. To immediately take up the Bill of Rights project is to fail to recognize this and to simply set yourself up for more failure. I don’t subscribe to the view that there are a collection of people in NI who somehow float outside of the main communities, these “alliance types’ to unfairly paraphrase are a misnomer. I believe that the NIHRC actually needed a unionist chair who had a commitment to making the NIHRC work. Someone like that could (possibly) have built up the social and political capital (I have probably been listening to Bob Putnam too much for my own good lately!) that the NIHRC needs to actually get the authority and legitimacy that it needs for its actions. Instead we end up with a chair who will have a very uphill battle in achieving that objective. Now I don’t discount the idea that Monica could do it but she will need to very carefully consider what her objectives are and set some realistic goals about the kind of rights agenda that can be developed. If we go down the path of writing yet another absurd 60’s style, communist manifesto bill of rights as the last time then it will be entirely still born and the NIHRC will have to wait another 4 years for a new chair who can actually make it work, or maybe it will simply wither away this time and that would be a great shame.

  • fair_deal

    Good God I agree with DSD. I am away to lie down in a darkened room. 😉

  • Doreen

    Can anyone tell me what rights people in NI have not already got that they think they are entitled to?

    Surely a greater emphasis on responsibilities would be more appropriate.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Not sure I feel good about that myself! LOL. 🙂

  • daithi

    DSD – sounds awfully like a unionist veto you are proposing there. And with repect to yourself there is no way anyone with a background like yourself would be allowed take main job at the HRC.

  • fair_deal

    “there is no way anyone with a background like yourself would be allowed take main job at the HRC”

    But someone with an equivalent background on the other side of the community can take such a job?

  • fair_deal

    Daithi

    I commend you on being at least up front that no Unionist need apply.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    “there is no way anyone with a background like yourself would be allowed take main job at the HRC”

    A Barrister with a masters in law degree in Human Rights?

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    Just right, what you need instead is some distorted idea that the government should provide everything for you and that everyone else is to blame for everything.

  • Jo

    For the record, I also think that Duncan would have made a good stab at the job.

    I am however, very pleased that Monica has been successful and that she will increase the profile of women policy makers and influencers here.

  • Henry94

    The political reality is that someone with Duncan’s record could not get the job. The unionists wouldn’t stand for it.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Does anybody know what function the proposed Bill of roghts is supposed to serve over and above that already served by the European Convention?

  • fair_deal

    JS

    Apparently NI is a place apart and we require rights above and beyond what is considered the necessary protection for our fellow Europeans.

    Henry94

    Nice try at a save but methinks DUP objections were not what daithi had in mind

  • Jimmy_Sands

    FD,

    I assumed as much, but what rights would theses be? Compulsory state advertising in failing newspapers obviously, but what else?

  • Niall

    “I like Monica on a personal level….The tragedy now is that the continued hijacking of the rights agenda by nationalists, …. will dominate and the broader agenda will be buried in all the noise.
    ….. I don’t subscribe to the view that there are a collection of people in NI who somehow float outside of the main communities, these “alliance types’ to unfairly paraphrase are a misnomer. I believe that the NIHRC actually needed a unionist chair …..Posted by: Duncan Shipley Dalton at June 16, 2005 03:17 PM”

    sorry but could you clarify the above for me? whle you like Monica you dont agree that the NIHRC can have a nationalist element? Altho Nationalists were systematically dicriminated against by the ’60’s and 70’s Stormont govts official policies?

    Why does it need a unionist chair as opposed to a nationalist or non-subscribing chair?

    “The NIHRC has been discredited in the past few years and is a badly damaged institution; it does not currently have the community, or political capacity to engage in a rights creation project. ” Posted by: Duncan Shipley Dalton at June 16, 2005 03:17 PM”

    What gov office or indeed the Stormont admin hasn’t been discredited and/or is badly damaged since the Good Friday referenda? When has this stopped London from creating offices and salarys in NI?

  • fair_deal

    Jimmy

    “what rights would theses be?”

    That question was handed to the NIHRC you can see from its first term how well that worked out.

    On a more general point there are a number of other European Rights Conventions that the government has signed but are binding on honour only (not legally enforceable) e.g. the Framework Convention for National Minorities a Bill of Rights could possible make these legally enforceable in Northern Ireland. They are international standards. However, the previous NIHRC drafts were all over the place.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Niall,

    I didn’t state that it couldn’t have nationalist element. My concern is that the nationalist community has mostly dominated the broader human rights agenda and particularly a number of the NGO’s involved. Certainly that was and remains my own perception. The response has been to organise around concepts of ‘protestant’ rights which I find equally as distasteful. An opportunity was created in the creation of the NIHRC to move beyond this narrow, sectional, ethnic definition of rights and to create a broader base of support for a human rights agenda. In my view the NIHRC dismally failed to do this during the term of Brice Dickson. As well meaning and decent as he is he never understood the political environment in which he was standing.

    My suggestion about a unionist chair is based on my assessment of where the NIHRC is right now, not where it was, or could be in the future. The problem for the NIHRC right now is that its relationship with unionists, particularly political unionists is extremely poor, thus a unionist chair could have attempted to bridge that gap more effectively and offered the potential to improve the effectiveness of the NIHRC. Surely that is to everyone benefit?

    As it is that hasn’t happened so it will be up to Monica to try to bridge that gap. But to do so it might help if she noticed its existence before rushing off to push ahead with a proposal such as the bill of rights that has little to no chance of success. In that sense the happiest people from all this will be Sinn Fein because the DUP will now have to deal with endless backdoor attempts to promote the agenda of the bill of rights inside any talks process. Of course its not a primary issue to SF either, so Monica will find like Brice that once trade offs start being made her supposed talks patrons will not go to the wall for her issue. The prospects of getting a bill or rights project to fruition will be far better served by a broader approach building a broad coalition of political support and removing it as talks issue. Once sucked into the periphery of the talks it will become a side issue to be traded by SF and an irritation to the DUP as they find themselves paying a negotiating price to stymie it, and they will quickly perceive it that way. It may be that is the point but I suppose naively I had hoped that the NIHRC might have a broader agenda than furthering the political negotiating positions of SF, but perhaps the human rights agenda is so devalued in NI now that that is all it is good for.

    On the systematic discrimination point. Firstly this is 2005 you know, you are talking about 40 years ago. I wasn’t even born until 1970 and nor were many other people in NI so to continue to reference that in support of current policy choices seems pretty weak. Secondly you would be hard pushed to find legislative examples of this. It was mostly administrative and by the way in those areas dominated by Catholics this discrimination played the other way. I don’t for one minute pretend that all was rosy and certainly a ‘cold house’ was as good a description as any, but we are not talking a legislative system of catholic apartheid, even if some groups for political reasons wish to make it appear the case. Yes problems in the past, but seriously get some perspective.

    The last point I don’t see the rational behind that one to engage with, sorry.

  • aquifer

    I wish Monica Well but fear she will not deliver the bill of rights either.

    I would suggest underask for a short and easily understood legislative component and overask for resources to make rights accessible and defended, to let rights culture establish in the public mind, creating the potential for a later extension of rights. (The alternative: ‘For a generation I nearly got my arse blown off, and all I got at the end was idle sectarian windbags, gangsters, and a long list of legalese’)

    And no casework nor public utterances for the commission until it produces the bill!

    It will be interesting to see what political rights Monica might support having been at the coalface for a time.

    With people still being driven out of houses it all seems very academic though.

    When I saw the nice plate glass doors of the NIHRC I was surprised somehow. Maybe I felt an effective human rights commission here would need to have a big steel door, with ligs in masks hammering on it from time to time.

  • fair_deal

    “‘For a generation I nearly got my arse blown off, and all I got at the end was idle sectarian windbags, gangsters, and a long list of legalese'”

    Quote of the day!

  • Niall

    “Certainly that was and remains my own perception.” THANK YOU BUT UNTIL IT’S SUPPORTED BY FACTS THEN IT WILL REMAIN THE *OPINION* OF AN EX-UUP POLITICIAN.

    “creation of the NIHRC” CAN I ASK, BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW, WHO INSTIGATED THE CREATION OF THE OFFICE – IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING THAT THE SHINNERS WOULD HAVE LOBBIED

    “create a broader base of support for a human rights agenda.” AN EXCELLENT AIM.

    “In my view….he never understood the political environment in which he was standing.” IF HE WAS STANDING IN THE ENVIROMENT THEN HE MUST HAVE UNDERSTOOD IT JUST AS WELL AS ANYONE ELSE IN SAME ENVIROMENT UNLESS HE HAD HIS HEAD WHERE THE SUN DOESN’T SHINE; IS THIS YOUR IMPLICATION ? IS THERE A DANGER THAT HE MIGHT HAVE JUST HAD A DIFFERENT OPINION THAN YOURSELF ?

    “My suggestion….its relationship with unionists, …is extremely poor, thus a unionist chair could have attempted to bridge that gap more effectively and offered the potential to improve the effectiveness of the NIHRC.” QUID PRO QUO THEN NATIONALIST WHO DON’T HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR THE JUDICIARY, RIR AND PSNI SHOULD REPLACE THE MEN IN WIGS, ARMY FATIGUES AND SQUAD CARS..!? I CAN’T IMAGINE THAT THIS RATIONAL WOULD GO DOWN WELL WITH THE UNIONISTS.

    “the bill of rights that has little to no chance of success” PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR OPINION AS TO WHY IT HAS NO CHANCE OF SUCCESS ESPECIALLY IF THERE IS CROSS COMMUNITY EFFORT. SHOULD ONE SIDE NOT SUPPORT THE BILL THEN WHY AND WHAT MIGHT BE DONE TO PERSUADE THEM.

    “any talks process” ASSUMING A TALKS PROCESS. BUT ISN’T TALKING BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAD FOR THE PREVIOUS 30 YEARS

    “once trade offs start being made her supposed talks patrons will not go to the wall for her issue” MAYBE, MAYBE NOT BUT AS LONG AS EVERYONE TALKING THEN THAT’S A GOOD THING, NO?

    “..it will become a side issue to be traded by SF and an irritation to the DUP” FINE BY ME A LONG AS EVERYONE SITTING AROUND CHATTING. ISN’T POLITICS AND CONSENT A GAME OF GIVE AND TAKE ?

    “so to continue to reference that in support of current policy choices seems pretty weak” I DON’T AGREE. THOSE WHO IGNORE HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT. IF THERE WAS TO BE A REPEAT IT WOULD POSSIBLY BE A CASE OF THE SHOE BEING ON THE OTHER FOOT WITH A UI ETC. I WOULD BE EQUALLY OPPOSED TO THERE BEING ANY DISCRIMATION GREEN OVER ORANGE. IS IT THAT DISTANT? PAISLEY SAID BURN PRIESTS AND HAD GROUPS WAVING GUN LICENSES ON MOUNTAIN TOPS, S. MALLON AND HUME WERE LEAD FIGURES AND THEY’RE STILL AROUND. GRIZZLEY WAS INTERNED WITHOUT TRIAL IN LONG KESH. IN IREL PEOPLE HAVE MEMORIES.

    “..by the way in those areas dominated by Catholics this discrimination played the other way”. PLEASE GIVE ME A DECIDING EXAMPLE.

    “I don’t for one minute pretend that all was rosy and certainly a ‘cold house’ was as good a description as any, but we are not talking a legislative system of catholic apartheid, even if some groups for political reasons wish to make it appear the case”. SORRY BUT THAT PHRASE TRANSLATES TO ME AS ‘OFFICIAL AND SYSTEMATIC BIGOTRY ACCEPTED BY CHURCH AND GOV IN NORN IREL’ HIGHLIGHTED BY THE NICRA BASED ON MLK ACTIONS , FROM GHANDI’S ACTIONS AND HIS BASED ON DANIEL O’CONNELL’S

    “Yes problems in the past, but seriously get some perspective”. LIKEWISE, BUT I DIDN’T CONSIDER MYSELF A CANDIDATE FOR HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION AS I’M NOT SUFFICIENT MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD, ARE YOU?

    “The last point I don’t see the rational behind that one to engage with, sorry” I THOUGHT IT WAS ACCEPTED THAT THE LONDON GOV WAS PUMPING MONEY INTO NI TO APPEASE EVERYONE – SALARIES FOR NON ATTENDING MLA’S ETC

    Posted by: Duncan Shipley Dalton at June 16, 2005 08:19 PM

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Niall,

    No need to shout I didnt intend to annoy, sorry if it makes you angry.

    Certainly that was and remains my own perception.” THANK YOU BUT UNTIL IT’S SUPPORTED BY FACTS THEN IT WILL REMAIN THE *OPINION* OF AN EX-UUP POLITICIAN. It’s a hard thing to empirically test but I would suggest that the anecdotal evidence supports this perception. However what is wrong with my having an opinion anyway?

    “creation of the NIHRC” CAN I ASK, BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW, WHO INSTIGATED THE CREATION OF THE OFFICE – IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING THAT THE SHINNERS WOULD HAVE LOBBIED. I am not aware from the talk’s process. Its in the agreement is all I can tell you, sorry.

    “create a broader base of support for a human rights agenda.” AN EXCELLENT AIM.

    “In my view….he never understood the political environment in which he was standing.” IF HE WAS STANDING IN THE ENVIROMENT THEN HE MUST HAVE UNDERSTOOD IT JUST AS WELL AS ANYONE ELSE IN SAME ENVIROMENT UNLESS HE HAD HIS HEAD WHERE THE SUN DOESN’T SHINE; IS THIS YOUR IMPLICATION ? IS THERE A DANGER THAT HE MIGHT HAVE JUST HAD A DIFFERENT OPINION THAN YOURSELF ? No I think Brice had poor political antenna and was bad a understanding the nuances of the political framework he was in. I mean that in a narrow sense of course he understood the broader NI environment but he did not demonstrate to me that he had a good sense of where he was in relation to the other political actors. Its not difference of opinion its political nouse and he just wasn’t good at it but then he was academic so why should he be?

    “My suggestion….its relationship with unionists, …is extremely poor, thus a unionist chair could have attempted to bridge that gap more effectively and offered the potential to improve the effectiveness of the NIHRC.” QUID PRO QUO THEN NATIONALIST WHO DON’T HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR THE JUDICIARY, RIR AND PSNI SHOULD REPLACE THE MEN IN WIGS, ARMY FATIGUES AND SQUAD CARS..!? I CAN’T IMAGINE THAT THIS RATIONAL WOULD GO DOWN WELL WITH THE UNIONISTS. Isn’t that the point of the Judicial Appointments Commission and the PSNI catholic affirmative action recruitment policy? Of course the other point is that those interactions are not high-level politics either whereas the Chair of the NIHRC is an inherently political position.

    “the bill of rights that has little to no chance of success” PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR OPINION AS TO WHY IT HAS NO CHANCE OF SUCCESS ESPECIALLY IF THERE IS CROSS COMMUNITY EFFORT. SHOULD ONE SIDE NOT SUPPORT THE BILL THEN WHY AND WHAT MIGHT BE DONE TO PERSUADE THEM. If the overwhelming majority of the unionist community rejected it then it will not be enacted. It’s that simple. Nor would I expect one that was overwhelming rejected by the nationalist community to be acceptable. If it succeeds in getting cross community support that would be different my point is that the current and previous NIHRC strategy had failed to do that.

    “any talks process” ASSUMING A TALKS PROCESS. BUT ISN’T TALKING BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAD FOR THE PREVIOUS 30 YEARS. Yes but I was dealing with it specifically in relation to the NIHRC and the Bill of Rights proposals. The wider issue is different.

    “once trade offs start being made her supposed talks patrons will not go to the wall for her issue” MAYBE, MAYBE NOT BUT AS LONG AS EVERYONE TALKING THEN THAT’S A GOOD THING, NO? See previous answer on that one.

    “..it will become a side issue to be traded by SF and an irritation to the DUP” FINE BY ME A LONG AS EVERYONE SITTING AROUND CHATTING. ISN’T POLITICS AND CONSENT A GAME OF GIVE AND TAKE ? Ibid.

    “so to continue to reference that in support of current policy choices seems pretty weak” I DON’T AGREE. THOSE WHO IGNORE HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT. IF THERE WAS TO BE A REPEAT IT WOULD POSSIBLY BE A CASE OF THE SHOE BEING ON THE OTHER FOOT WITH A UI ETC. I WOULD BE EQUALLY OPPOSED TO THERE BEING ANY DISCRIMATION GREEN OVER ORANGE. IS IT THAT DISTANT? PAISLEY SAID BURN PRIESTS AND HAD GROUPS WAVING GUN LICENSES ON MOUNTAIN TOPS, S. MALLON AND HUME WERE LEAD FIGURES AND THEY’RE STILL AROUND. GRIZZLEY WAS INTERNED WITHOUT TRIAL IN LONG KESH. IN IREL PEOPLE HAVE MEMORIES. I took your argument to be that as nationalists bore the brunt of the discrimination from 1922-1972 they should continue to have monopoly on the issue. I am skeptical that this as a sound basis for a policy. I don’t discount people have memories but must all future actions be determined by them or is the past an experience to learn from as part of the process of formulating new actions?

    “..by the way in those areas dominated by Catholics this discrimination played the other way”. PLEASE GIVE ME A DECIDING EXAMPLE. Public housing allocations in Armagh during the 50-60’s.

    “I don’t for one minute pretend that all was rosy and certainly a ‘cold house’ was as good a description as any, but we are not talking a legislative system of catholic apartheid, even if some groups for political reasons wish to make it appear the case”. SORRY BUT THAT PHRASE TRANSLATES TO ME AS ‘OFFICIAL AND SYSTEMATIC BIGOTRY ACCEPTED BY CHURCH AND GOV IN NORN IREL’ HIGHLIGHTED BY THE NICRA BASED ON MLK ACTIONS , FROM GHANDI’S ACTIONS AND HIS BASED ON DANIEL O’CONNELL’S. I don’t follow sorry? My point was that whilst it existed it differs in magnitude from the kind of systematic discrimination that was endured by black people in south Africa or even the Southern US(or Northern US actually if you look at Boston).

    “Yes problems in the past, but seriously get some perspective”. LIKEWISE, BUT I DIDN’T CONSIDER MYSELF A CANDIDATE FOR HUMAN RIGHT COMMISSION AS I’M NOT SUFFICIENT MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD, ARE YOU? I would suggest that I am no more so than Monica McWilliams so it doesn’t appear to be prerequisite of the position. But it is academic, as I did not apply. I don’t believe that every public job in Northern Ireland should be held by a middle of the road type as I don’t think they exist. Its my opinion (which you don’t seem to like much) but I happen to believe that people can hold unionist, nationalist or republican views and still act in professional and fair-minded manner in a public office.

    “The last point I don’t see the rational behind that one to engage with, sorry” I THOUGHT IT WAS ACCEPTED THAT THE LONDON GOV WAS PUMPING MONEY INTO NI TO APPEASE EVERYONE – SALARIES FOR NON ATTENDING MLA’S ETC. As there is a public expenditure subvention of approx 4billion that could be said of all public sector employees in NI. You liked Wilson’s scrounger speech then?

  • usernamexists

    “Does anybody know what function the proposed Bill of roghts is supposed to serve over and above that already served by the European Convention?”

    The European Convention represents the *minimum* standards that were agreed in 1950 – does anyone think we might have moved on a bit in 55 years? Worth pointing out though that the UK has repeatedly derogated from ebven this very low benchmark.

    As fair_deal rightly said there are many other European standards that the state has accepted but that are not justiciable in our courts. The same applies to every single UN human rights treaty – ICCPR, ICESCR, CAT, CRC, CERD, CEDAW – and to ILO and other international; human rights instruments. The state signs up, but there is no way of enforcing any of the rights that are theoretically recognised, unless they are incorporated in domestic legislation. That, in a nutshell, is what the Bill of Rights project is about: making rights accessible.

    DSD or Monica for Chief Commissioner… ooh that’s a hard one…

  • pakman

    udernamexists

    why do we in NI need an add-on to the Human Rights Act ?

  • usernamexists

    Because the Human Rights Act only gives access to (most of) the European Convention rights, and does not address the matters covered in any of the 100+ other human rights treaties.

  • Niall

    “Niall,

    No need to shout I didnt intend to annoy, sorry if it makes you angry”.

    I’M NOT ANGRY BUT THANK YOU; THE CAP LETTERS IS AS A MEANS OF DISTINGUISHING MY POINTS FROM YOURS; I CAN’T GET THE ITALICS TO WORK. I HOPE YOU REVIEW THE SUBSTANCE OF MY POSTING RATHER THAN THE STYLE..!?

  • Niall

    “It’s a hard thing to empirically test but I would suggest that the anecdotal evidence supports this perception. However what is wrong with my having an opinion anyway?” I RESPECT THAT YOU HAVE OPINIONS BUT I DISAGREE WITH THEM. MORE IMPORTANTLY I DISAGREE WITH YOU, AS A PUBLIC FIGURE, PASSING YOUR PRIVATE OPINION AS FACT. UNLESS YOU CAN DOCUMENT THEM AS BACK-UP YOU SHOULD LEAVE IT OUT OF A PUBLIC FORUM. THEREFORE I CONCLUDE THE NIHRC DOESN’T HAVE A NATIONALIST LEANING AS IT HASN’T BEEN PROVEN ALTHO IMPLIED/RUMOURED BY UNIONISTS.

    No I think Brice had poor political antenna and was bad a understanding the nuances of the political framework he was in. I mean that in a narrow sense of course he understood the broader NI environment but he did not demonstrate to me that he had a good sense of where he was in relation to the other political actors. Its not difference of opinion its political nouse and he just wasn’t good at it but then he was academic so why should he be? THEREFORE TO USE THEIR POLITICAL NOUSE A CHAIR SHOULD BE A POLITICIAN LIKE…MMcW? TRUST ME THE NEXT CHAIR WILL BE OF UNIONST BACKGROUND.

    Isn’t that the point of the Judicial Appointments Commission and the PSNI catholic affirmative action recruitment policy? DIDN’T YOU JUST PROVE MY POINT. CAN I MENTION “HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT”? THEREFORE YOU ACCEPT THE JAC AND PSNI AFFIRMATIVE ACTION TO BRING THEIR APPOINTS/RECRUITMENT TO ACCEPTABLE LEVELS ? HUMAN RIGHTS SHOULD ALSO BE RUN BY NATIONALIST AS THEY WERE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST (MORE TO FOLLOW). Of course the other point is that those interactions are not high-level politics either whereas the Chair of the NIHRC is an inherently political position. ANY PUBLIC APPOINT JUDICIARY, RIR, PSNI AND NIHRC IS POLITICAL OTHERWISE WHY DO THE POLITICIANS SPEAK SO FREQUENTLY ABOUT THE RIR AND PSNI. DO YOU (AS A POLITICO) NOT THINK THAT THE RIR SHOULD BE DISBANDED AS A UNIONIST MILITIA DISGRACE ?

    If the overwhelming majority of the unionist community rejected it then it will not be enacted. It’s that simple. Nor would I expect one that was overwhelming rejected by the nationalist community to be acceptable. If it succeeds in getting cross community support that would be different my point is that the current and previous NIHRC strategy had failed to do that. I DON’T THINK THE PEOPLE VOTED ON THE NIHRC SO WE CAN’T SAY IT WAS REJECTED. I DO THINK IT WOULD BE REJECTED AS A SF COMMISSION AS IT WOULDN’T BE PRESENTED FAIRLY AS BENEFICIAL TO ALL SIDES BY THE UNIONIST POLITICOS AS PER TRIMBLE BACKING AWAY FROM THE GFA ONCE THE INTL MEDIA LEFT TOWN.

    I took your argument to be that as nationalists bore the brunt of the discrimination from 1922-1972 they should continue to have monopoly on the issue. STOP RIGHT THERE. NATIONALISTS BORE THE TOTAL AND FULL DISCRIMINATION IN NI SINCE BEFORE 1922. “MONONPOLY ON WHAT ISSUE” – THE NIHRC IS AIMED TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR BOTH SIDES AND SHOULD BE WORKED ON, TO THE ADVANTAGE OF, BOTH SIDES
    I am skeptical that this as a sound basis for a policy. I don’t discount people have memories but must all future actions be determined by them or is the past an experience to learn from as part of the process of formulating new actions? OF COURSE ALL FUTURE ACTIONS SHOULDN’T BE BY THE PREVIOUSLY DISCRIMATED NATIONALISTS. FUTURE ACTIONS SHOULD BE BY BOTH, RECOGNISING THE ERRORS OF THE PAST AND THE SUBSEQUENT DISFUNCTIONAL SOCIETY AND WORK TO ENSURE THAT NEITHER SIDE CAN ATTEMPT DISCRIMATING IN THE FUTURE. I THINK YOU ARE LACKING IN YOUR VIEW OF THE PAST, THE PRESENT (THE AIMS/POTENTIAL OF THE NIHRC) AND DON’T SEE THE BENEFITS THAT IT CAN GIVE NI FOR THE FUTURE (BOTH SIDES).

    Public housing allocations in Armagh during the 50-60’s. I’M UNSURE OF THIS AND DOUBTFUL FROM SEEING THE DEMOGRAFIC OF NORTH ARMAGH. HOWEVER IT WOULD BE A MERE DROP IN THE OCEAN OF THE DISCRIMINATION IN NI. AN ATTEMPT TO CLOUD THE DISCRACEFUL BEHAVIOUR OF STORMONT.

    I don’t follow sorry? ‘COLD HOUSE’ IS THE MOST BELITTLING EXPRESSION EVER. I SUPPOSE IN YEARS TO COME GRIZZELY ADAMS WILL DESCRIBE THINGS AS “A TROUBLSOME HOUSEHOLD” WHILE GUSTY SPENCE WILL SAY “BANISHING NON-BELIEVERS FROM THE HOUSE” AND UNIONIST WILL HAVE TO ACCEPT THIS EXPRESSION. My point was that whilst it existed it differs in magnitude from the kind of systematic discrimination that was endured by black people in south Africa or even the Southern US(or Northern US actually if you look at Boston). NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST. THE SYSTEMATIC AND OFFICIAL DISCRIMINATION IS EXACTLY LIKE THAT OF THE SOUTHERN STATES AND SOUTH AFRICA. HENCE THE CONNECTION OF MLK AND GHANDI. THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT IN SEEING THE LIGHT THE PERPATRTORS OF THE CRIMES IN THOSE AREAS REVERSED THEIR BEHAVIOUR WITH STATE AND INTL BENEFITS HAVE CREATED JUST AND HONEST SOCIETIES. NO ONE TALKS ABOUT A DE KLERK FIGURE IN NI ANYMORE – WHY NOT? FEDERAL GOV IN USA INSTITUDED CORRECTING LAWS IN THE SOUTH WHICH LONDON DOESN’T HAVE THE NERVE TO IMPLIMENT AND ANYWAY THE NIO IS UNIONIST.

    a middle of the road type as I don’t think they exist. TRUST ME THEY DO.

    Its my opinion (which you don’t seem to like much) AU CONTRAIRE. I MAY DISAGREE WITH SOME/MOST OF YOUR OPINION BUT I HAVE TO CONGRAT YOU ON SIGNING ON, AS A PUBLIC FIGURE, WITH YOUR ACTUAL NAME. KUDOS.

    but I happen to believe that people can hold unionist, nationalist or republican views and still act in professional and fair-minded manner in a public office. AGREED

    You liked Wilson’s scrounger speech then? IRRELEVANT TO MY POINT AS I DON’T THINK IT’S AS SCROUNGER BUT LONDON’S AIM TO PUMP MONEY IN TO LESSEN THE COMPLAINTS

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Usernameexists,

    We have indeed moved on in 55 years. You may be interested to learn that the Council of Europe’s corpus of law has not been static in that period either. In terms of what additional rights you believe ought to be but are not justiciable at present I was rather hoping for some concrete examples rather than merely a list of acronyms. You mention for example CERD and CEDAW. Are you suggesting that race and sex discrimination are not justiciable at present.

    I’ll throw this one open to floor.

  • pakman

    usernamexists

    “Because the Human Rights Act only gives access to (most of) the European Convention rights, and does not address the matters covered in any of the 100+ other human rights treaties”

    So you want the 100+ other human rights treaties encorporated into our domestic law? What is the ommission that 800 years of common law and 55 years of ECHR jurisprudence have failed to address? (I know this is a Human Rights thread but no nebulous answers please- let’s deal with specifics).

  • pakman

    Niall

    stop shouting. If you don’t know how to post then perhaps the moderator could help …

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    Does Typepad have anything like a permalink to a specific comment, because I’d like to cite Niall’s last comment as an exmaple of the highest level of tripe that we’ve come to expect from the MOPEs of this country.

    Describing any nationalist discrimination against Unionists as a “MERE DROP IN THE OCEAN OF THE DISCRIMINATION IN NI”

    “Discrimination was only against us, we never discriminated” eh?

    And again, suggesting that all the discrimination in NI was directed at nationalists

    “NATIONALISTS BORE THE TOTAL AND FULL DISCRIMINATION IN NI SINCE BEFORE 1922.” my emphasis.

    You’re having a laugh aren’t you?

    But wait, it gets better – I particularly liked the:
    “THE SYSTEMATIC AND OFFICIAL DISCRIMINATION IS EXACTLY LIKE THAT OF THE SOUTHERN STATES AND SOUTH AFRICA. HENCE THE CONNECTION OF MLK AND GHANDI.”

    Now I just await confirmation that the Unionist government at Stormont killed more Catholics than Hitler killed Jews.

  • Niall

    to pakman who wrote….”Niall

    stop shouting. If you don’t know how to post then perhaps the moderator could help …

    Posted by: pakman at June 17, 2005 04:25 PM

    …please see my earlier post….I’M NOT ANGRY BUT THANK YOU; THE CAP LETTERS IS AS A MEANS OF DISTINGUISHING MY POINTS FROM YOURS; I CAN’T GET THE ITALICS TO WORK. I HOPE YOU REVIEW THE SUBSTANCE OF MY POSTING RATHER THAN THE STYLE..!?

    Pakman, stop making posts based on the writing style. I don’t believe this is a grammatical site. How I wrote is *sometimes* considered shouting but since I already explained my style (assuming you read thro’ the forum) then you should have understood. Therefore stop nitpicking. I don’t believe there is a blog-grammer rulebook published yet but may I suggest you lock youself away for a few years and produce one..?!

  • Niall

    step up to the plate beno…..

    MOPEs: disgusting term. I won’t lower myself to return an equivalent to describe one, like yourself, who would use this term.

    Describing any nationalist discrimination against Unionists as a “MERE DROP IN THE OCEAN OF THE DISCRIMINATION IN NI”

    “Discrimination was only against us, we never discriminated” eh?

    Well yeah, that is the general case of how things were prior to 1972 (date given by DSD). Do you refute this and can you give examples of “systematic and official” discrimination perpatrated by Nationalists ? I’d love to hear your side of the story.

    And again, suggesting that all the discrimination in NI was directed at nationalists

    “NATIONALISTS BORE THE TOTAL AND FULL DISCRIMINATION IN NI SINCE BEFORE 1922.” my emphasis.

    You’re having a laugh aren’t you? not at all

    But wait, it gets better – I particularly liked the:
    “THE SYSTEMATIC AND OFFICIAL DISCRIMINATION IS EXACTLY LIKE THAT OF THE SOUTHERN STATES AND SOUTH AFRICA. HENCE THE CONNECTION OF MLK AND GHANDI.”

    and an example of this is M. Reiss’ description, via Fr Sean McManus, of the OO as similar to the KKK.

    Hume, Currie and co. followed the example of MLK even going so far as singing “we shall overcome” when being attacked at Burntollet by loyalist and & police. Exactly like what was hapening in Birmingham Alabama. MLK copied Ghandi who copied O’Connell and Frederick Douglass

    http://www.historytoday.com/dt_main_allatonce.asp?
    gid=19446&g19446=x&g19427=x&g30026=x&g20991=x&g21010
    =x&g19965=x&g19963=x&amid=19446

    [link broken up to make thread readable – mod]

    In 1934, for example, Brookeborough said “I have always said I am an Orangeman first and a politician and MP afterwards … all I boast is that we are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant state.”

    Derry prior to the NICRA: blatant gerrymandering of the electoral boundaries & suffered particularly high rates of unemployment and there was a chronic housing shortage

    house in Caledon, Co. Tyrone, had been allocated to a single Protestant girl while some large Catholic families remained unhoused

    in the ’70s there was internment of Republicans only and no Loyalists

    Plastic bullets used against the Nationalist community only, except for a couple of case.

    Beno, awaiting your response.

  • Niall

    to pakman who wrote….”Niall

    stop shouting. If you don’t know how to post then perhaps the moderator could help …

    Posted by: pakman at June 17, 2005 04:25 PM

    …please see my earlier post….I’M NOT ANGRY BUT THANK YOU; THE CAP LETTERS IS AS A MEANS OF DISTINGUISHING MY POINTS FROM YOURS; I CAN’T GET THE ITALICS TO WORK. I HOPE YOU REVIEW THE SUBSTANCE OF MY POSTING RATHER THAN THE STYLE..!?

    Pakman, stop making posts based on the writing style. I don’t believe this is a grammatical site. How I wrote is *sometimes* considered shouting but since I already explained my style (assuming you read thro’ the forum) then you should have understood. Therefore stop nitpicking. I don’t believe there is a blog-grammer rulebook published yet but may I suggest you lock youself away for a few years and produce one..?!

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    ” Discrimination was only against us, we never discriminated” eh?
    Well yeah, that is the general case of how things were prior to 1972 (date given by DSD). Do you refute this and can you give examples of “systematic and official” discrimination perpetrated by Nationalists ? I’d love to hear your side of the story.

    This is starting to get into a circular whataboutery discussion which I don’t wish to indulge.

    However to suggest that all discrimination was entirely directed at Catholics is an exaggeration. Protestants mostly dominated the business, political and social structure pre 1972 so of course that meant that much of the discrimination was focused against Catholics. I don’t deny that. But to suggest that it was like apartheid, or even the US south is hyperbole. In some instance in those areas where Catholics politically dominated, which were few, there was evidence of discrimination against Protestants. (E.g. In 1958, of the twenty full time-time clerical staff working for Newry Urban District Council, all were Catholics; of the seventy outdoor full-time workers, all were Catholics; of the 765 houses belonging to the council, only 22 were occupied by Protestants, though Protestants represented one fifth of the areas population. From Hennessy, Thomas, History of Northern Ireland 1920-1996, St Martin’s Press, New York 1977.)

    This is not to attempt to excuse anyone but simply to try to point out that all parts of our society were imperfect. I am sorry if that undermines your particular victim based worldview but the sign of some intellectual maturity might be to take a step back and think that through a bit more rather than simply indulge in the kind of exaggerated comparisons with the KKK, or South Africa that you have fallen back on. By the way that fact that MLK, or Gandhi may have inspired the tactical choices and actions taken by NICRA in the late 60’s early 70’s does not mean that the underlying social problems were identical. If the FARC use IRA tactics in Columbia does that mean that the social problems are exactly the same in Columbia as in NI?

    As a few questions for you to ponder. How many Catholics were lynched, or even individually murdered by roving gangs of OO members? When the South African apartheid regime restricted voting from blacks how many white South Africans also lost their votes as a consequence of these restrictions? (E.g. property based voting requirements? I suggest you talk to some older working class Protestants who will tell you about the property owning requirements in local government elections that were lifted to allow them to vote as well.) Can you direct me to the Stormont law that restricted catholic voting rights in any of the Stormont, or Westminster elections from 1922-1972?

    It is easy to get into an exaggerated hyperbolic description of pre 1972 (to simply pick on the date that Stormont was suspended) NI and imagine that it was a one sided land of protestant hegemony but like all things it was far more diverse and complex than all that. I don’t excuse those protestants that did indulge in discrimination, but why is it so hard for you to face the fact that some Catholics may have equally behaved in a discriminatory fashion in those few places where the opportunities arose?

  • Niall

    Q1. How many Catholics were lynched, or even individually murdered by roving gangs of OO members?
    A1.Who mentioned roving gangs (Shankill Butcher’s) of OO (compared to KKK by M. Reiss).
    September 7 1999 – The trial of Garfield Gilmour from Newhill, Ballymoney (Co. Antrim) begins. Gilmour stands accused of the murder of Jason (9), Mark (10) and Richard Quinn (11.) The Quinn brothers died when fire swept through their home after a petrol bomb was thrown through the living room window. Gilmour also stands accused of the attempted murder of the boys’ mother, her then boyfriend and a family friend. The attack occurred on the night of 12 July 1998 – the height of the summer’s crisis at Drumcree. It received world-wide media attention because of the horrific nature of the hate crime.
    They young boys were from a Catholic family but went to a predominantly Protestant school and lived in a mainly Protestant estate. The attack on their home was nakedly sectarian.

    Q2. When the South African apartheid regime restricted voting from blacks how many white South Africans also lost their votes as a consequence of these restrictions? (E.g. property based voting requirements? I suggest you talk to some older working class Protestants who will tell you about the property owning requirements in local government elections that were lifted to allow them to vote as well.)
    A2. An example of discrimiation by property ownership (mainly Nationalist victims). I agree that work class Protestant’s lost out too but foolishly continued to vote for Big House unionists. Why was the property requirement initiated in NI only? Becasue it would mainly (to a huge degree) restrict Nationalists.

    Q3. Can you direct me to the Stormont law that restricted catholic voting rights in any of the Stormont, or Westminster elections from 1922-1972?
    A3. Above mentioned property owning restrictions.

    Q1. Can you confirm that Derry was gerrymandered and therefore NICRA was correct to follow the path it took?
    Q2. Can you confirm that the disgraceful situation in Newry back then is replicated by Bushmills nowadays but no one complains as the job force represent the constituency? Therefore understandable.

    “I am sorry if that undermines your particular victim based worldview but the sign of some intellectual maturity” I disagree. You pointed out one example of discrimation an feel that this undermines my case – wrong. It proves that you cannot accept that the vast, vast majority of the discrimination was against Nationalists.

    The NICRA inspired by MLK and Ghandi highlighted the problem in NI but London didn’t / doesnt have the backbone to act like the USA’s Federal Gov to counteract the institutionalized bigotry. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4102010.stm

    I agree ‘whataboutery’ doesn’t get anyone anywhere but I don’t understand how the one-sided systematic discrimination in NI which lead to it’s disfuncional society is not recognized by the unionists. My ‘victim based worldview’ (mildly insulting) supports this regarding US south and apartheid and in my ‘intellectual maturity’ (again mildly insulting) there is very little difference between the OO and the KKK.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Q1.) No evidence Gilmour was even a member of the OO. So what does that prove? I don’t anywhere suggest that sectarian violence didn’t and doesn’t occur. My point is that coming from the OO it was not in an institutionalized organized form ala the KKK therefore they are not directly comparable. The OO has its faults but it is not the KKK.

    Q.2.) How did they vote for big house unionists if they also lost their vote? You see not everyone who lost votes was catholic ergo it was not entirely Catholics who suffered. Yes it was intended to reduce catholic votes and yes it was a form of indirect discrimination but as I am trying to point out it differs in magnitude from the kind of vote restrictions suffered by black South Africans.

    Q3.)It only applied to local government elections e.g. Londonderry City council etc. it never applied to Stormont, or Westminster elections. I had the exact same discusion with Dermot Ahern recently and he had the same incorrect understanding of this. You are aware that there were nationalist elected members of both Stormont and Westminster between 1922-1972?

    Q4.)1. Yes. 2. Not sure about Bushmills. The point of the Newry example was to provide your requested example of a catholic controlled public body that appears to have discriminated against protestants according to the population demographics of the area it governed over.

    London after pressure from oversea enacted fair employment legislation the like of which is not even close to being replicated in the USA. There was also considerable effort made to provide better housing and social services to Catholic areas. Take a look at the public housing stock in west Belfast vs. east Belfast and see who has got the raw deal there.

    “I am sorry if that undermines your particular victim based worldview but the sign of some intellectual maturity” I disagree.

    I am merely suggesting you might like to try holding 2 contradictory ideas in your head at once.

    You pointed out one example of discrimination an feel that this undermines my case – wrong. It proves that you cannot accept that the vast, vast majority of the discrimination was against Nationalists.

    I understood your case to be that no discrimination against protestants by Catholics occurred, on that basis yes one case does indeed undermine that. No I DO accept that the overwhelming majority of it was against Catholics and I stated that numerous times, but you seem to be incapable of noticing. Where we differ is that you in my view rhetorically exaggerate the magnitude of it and I am more circumspect.

    I agree ‘whataboutery’ doesn’t get anyone anywhere but I don’t understand how the one-sided systematic discrimination in NI which lead to it’s dysfunctional society is not recognized by the unionists.

    See as Ronnie Reagan would say ‘there you go again’. One sided it was not and I demonstrated that.

    That’s enough of this. I have tried to engage you in discussion but you are not hearing me at all. This is degenerating into a ‘he said she said’ knockabout instead. Which is making me intemperate and I don’t want to start offending people, which I can do when I get irritated and let my tongue (keyboard) get a bit sharper. We will call it quits there and just have to agree to differ in our perceptions.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    For the moderator or anyone else with superior computer skills to me. How do you do the italics thing within a post? it would be handy to know.

    Thanks.

  • fair_deal

    Niall

    On the heinous murder of the Quinn children. The evidence presented at court showed that the attack was the result of a sectarian vendetta that had nothing to do with Drumcree. The local police commander also confirmed in writing that there was no invovlement in the murder by the Orange Order.

  • fair_deal

    Suggestion Number 1 for the Bill of Rights

    A right to protest with a responsibility that you must do so peacefully. (It certainly seems that some of the people in Ardoyne certainly haven’t grasped the second part of that maybe Monica could have a word)

  • usernamexists

    fair_deal, you’ll find that the right to protest peacefully is already in the 1950 European Convention. You will also find that yours isn’t the first suggestion as to what ought to be in a Bill of Rights… this may be the most extensive public consultation ever undertaken in this part of the world. I’m involved in one of the hundreds of community groups that benefited from consultation/training by the HRC. The two bill of rights documents to date are not “all over the place” but represent a very difficult struggle towards consensus on the difference between a 1950 and a 2005 conception of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

    Responding to pakman’s earlier point, incorporation of 100+ human rights treaties in domestic law would be very nice, thank you. Had courts in NI been required to enforce ECHR standards and every other human rights treaty then in force or signed from 1950 onwards, we might have been spared at least 3500 violent deaths. The British model, where the state can sign up to a treaty and then do pretty much as it pleases, is actually not the norm.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “yours isn’t the first suggestion as to what ought to be in a Bill of Rights”

    On this thread it is.

  • fair_deal

    usernameexists

    I worked on two of the advisory committees for the draft bill of rights from my experience of working with a number of individual former commissioners and with them as a collective they were all over the place (Some of their training wasn’t up to much either I attended two sessions after the first one was a disaster and the second was only a small improvement).

    The document is a dogs breakfast with no consistency of approach or real reverence to international standards. They tried to achieve a consensus by plumping for a middle position but ended up with a mess no one really bought into.

    They also mishandled the debate, a consensus had to be created about the form of a Bill of Rights before it went to a draft – the debate about positive/negative rights, individual/community rights, issues around social and economic rights, and how the distinction what protection people will need and what they will want will be managed and the practical matters of what is better a concise and clear Bill of Rights that can be enforceable or a huge draft that will promise much but a nightmare to enforce. They never came close to this.

    They also got wrapped up in interpreting the Belfast Agreement which meant they jumped into the middle of a political minefield.

    I do not buy the 2005 and 1950 argument. Human beings are human beings no matter what the era and basic protections are consistent (the American Bill of rights has done that country good service for centuries). Also this thinking is symbolic of the cul-de-sac the human rights sector has wallked up. It has become an industry of pressure groups to get their wants changed into rights especially on issues that involve resource allocations.

    The NIHRC also fell into the trap of presenting the consensus of the human rights sector as some sort of social consensus.

  • Sol

    “THE SYSTEMATIC AND OFFICIAL DISCRIMINATION IS EXACTLY LIKE THAT OF THE SOUTHERN STATES AND SOUTH AFRICA.”
    This is a wopping exageration, and belittles the the plight of the black people in those particular countries.
    The discrimination that existed in NI and ROI was based on religious belief and political persuassion, which are changeable, skin color is not.

    Sol

  • fair_deal

    username

    There is also a question mark over whether the drafting of a bill of rights was actually a task given solely to the NIHRC in the Agreement, its role was to produce advice.

  • IJP

    fair_deal

    Your 1245PM is an outstandingly accurate assessment of the problem.

  • Alan

    *Also this thinking is symbolic of the cul-de-sac the human rights sector has wallked up. It has become an industry of pressure groups to get their wants changed into rights especially on issues that involve resource allocations.*

    I think that you are misinterpreting the HR groups. All of them are unhappy with the NIHRC Update position. They all want something simple that can easily be understood, and they all want to see the political parties and civil society sitting down and thrashing out the shape of a bill. They have been asking for a round table for a long time.

    For me, the big issue is to try and arrive at a version of the bill that can incorporate as many of the existing provisions as possible, and include wider protections where they involve issues specific to Northern Ireland. I would not like to see a list of bullet points / hyperlinks refering to other treaties and protocols that simply make the already difficult issues harder to understand.

    We also need to take a real look at social and economic rights, and the rights of specific groups, such as children and the disabled who need very specific protections. Personally, I had problems with the economics of social and economic rights, until I actually read the provisions. Social and economic rights are the rights understood by constituents and would provide valuable precedents for moving policy on the kind of individual problems that local politicians find so difficult to shift.

  • aquifer

    niall

    There were in fact numbers of loyalists interned in the 1970’s, and documented official enquiries did reveal some housing discrimination by nationalist councils.

    Me reading of it was that Unionists and Nationalists were never committed to a socialistic notion like housing based on need, and councils gave these ‘free’ houses out to their mates when they could. The Housing Trust also owned substantial numbers of homes throughout NI but were more professional in their allocations.

    MOPE remains a useful term

  • aquifer

    fairdeals 12.45 is useful all right:

    ‘It has become an industry of pressure groups to get their wants changed into rights especially on issues that involve resource allocations.’

    getting political outcomes without the need for politics is an attractive option, but what about some basic political rights:

    The right to influence legislation applying to your region.

    The right to have legislation and taxation and administrative structures the same as the Republic of Ireland where there is insufficient local reason for them to be different.

    Having political parties in and out of office with sufficient resources to routinely engage directly with their constituents on issues rather than via the sectarian local newspapers.

  • fair_deal

    IJP/Alan/Aquifer

    At a conference today I will get back to you on this later this afternnoon or early evening

  • Niall

    In reply to …….
    “This is a wopping exageration, and belittles the the plight of the black people in those particular countries.
    The discrimination that existed in NI and ROI was based on religious belief and political persuassion, which are changeable, skin color is not.
    Sol
    Posted by: Sol at June 19, 2005 01:05 PM”

    while I agree the scale and degree was worse in the US South and SA ( I didn’t claim any of the three had a monopoly on suffering) I say that there was official discrim and it was systematic in all three. Discrim in NI resulted in Nationalists being treated as second-class citizens, encouraging emmigration and non–participation in NI’s society. Discrim in US South there was also vote neglect, segregation and lynching. In SA there was apartheid the gov’s official segregation. The struggle against discrim in US South was led by MLK in the ‘6o’s and 40 years later there is no official or systematic elements – black and white communites, while not integrated, do live in inter-ethnic harmony. It’s a pity that NI didn’t activily encourage the same changes and reconciliations (from the Federal gov in Wash DC) whereby we’re having this discussion 37 years after Caledon and Burntollet.

    How can the discrim by skin colour be any different / worse than the discrim by religion/politics? A differentiantion of the degree of evilness ? How does one go about measuring the extent of the problem? Anyway, while skin colour may not have been the basis of discrim in NI it’s common knowledge that one’s beliefs/religion/politics are known by all based on residency, school, job, name, …..ad nauseum.

    It may soon be a moot point as the Belfast is rushing to become the most racist city in Europe in it’s attacks on immigrants.

  • Niall

    In the latest issue of “The Economist”, subs needed, there’s an interesting and relevant article about human rights……

    “The Council of Europe gives Britain a mixed verdict on human rights…It describes the “generally impressive” record but damning on three fronts…handling asylum seekers, curbing yobbish behaviour and (the reason for my posting) anti-terror laws. “’Control orders’ can be imposed on terrorist suspects…similar sanctions to a full criminal offence, including house-arrest – but without giving the accused the benefit of a trial.” The Ombudman, Mr Gil-Robles, suggests that this justice system amounts to ‘a parallel system run by the executive’.

    Isn’t this the same as the internment of the ‘70’s? I thought it was very interesting that London hasn’t learned that these laws and the subsequent torture/interrogation (Castlereagh, Abu Gahreb), creates rather than eliminates, the issues that they are trying to prevent

  • fair_deal

    IJP

    Thank you for the compliment for some reason I always do my clearest thinking in the early hours of the morning makes getting up in the morning hell.

    Aquifer

    “The right to have legislation and taxation and administrative structures the same as the Republic of Ireland where there is insufficient local reason for them to be different.”

    I don’t think you will find such a right in international standards. I think it is also a perfect example of someone asking for a want to become a right.

    On the political parties I think you enter the wider debate of state funding for parties and its desireability.

    Alan

    “I think that you are misinterpreting the HR groups. All of them are unhappy with the NIHRC Update position…”

    As I said the NIHRC ended up in a middle position that pleased nobody. My point was meant in a more general form rather than limited to NI.

    The human rights sector keeps drafting more and more rights documents encrocaching on more and more areas of political decision-making which I consider harmful to democracy and also the focus can shift to expansion of the agenda to the detriment of enforcement of existing provisions.

    Also I work in a sector were socio-economic rights would probably guarantee more support but I still wouldn’t want them in a Bill of Rights because resource allocations are better debated in policy than dictated by law (with exceptions to the basics of life).

    I think the roundtable idea has much merit and more likely to succeed that the re-constituted NIHRC especially with its unbalanced board and chair and its nationalist interpretation of its role regarding a Bill of Rights.

  • IJP

    fair_deal

    Thank you for the compliment for some reason I always do my clearest thinking in the early hours of the morning makes getting up in the morning hell.

    I’m with you on that point too!

  • willowfield

    Niall

    STOP RIGHT THERE. NATIONALISTS BORE THE TOTAL AND FULL DISCRIMINATION IN NI SINCE BEFORE 1922.

    They didn’t. Unionists bore some of the brunt.

    NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST. THE SYSTEMATIC AND OFFICIAL DISCRIMINATION IS EXACTLY LIKE THAT OF THE SOUTHERN STATES AND SOUTH AFRICA.

    Yes, that’s right. In Northern Ireland, there were separate “Protestant only” and “Roman Catholic only” drinking fountains. Roman Catholics had to sit at the back of the bus. Beaches were divided into Protestant and Roman Catholic sections. Roman Catholics were denied the vote and denied citizenship. Yes, it was “exactly alike”.

    MOPE.

    Why was the property requirement initiated in NI only?

    It wasn’t. It was initiated across the UK.

    Becasue it would mainly (to a huge degree) restrict Nationalists.

    I doubt that was of much concern in England.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    IJP, fairdeal,

    The round table idea has some merit. It seemed to me that in developing a framework for an effective bill or rights project you would need to create as wide a network of support as possible. This must include the political elites as well as the NGO sectors. Brice Dickson’s big error was to assume that all he had to do was occasionally consult with the politicians, who he didn’t seem too like much, and the unstoppable forces of public opinion would push the pols into line behind the BoR. It was for the experts in the NIHRC and the NGO movements to actually figure out the provisions. When that didn’t happen members of the commission tried to sneak it into all the talks processes as side issue (SF was more than obliging in adding to their lengthy wish lists) and the whole thing ended up dead on delivery.

    My own idea was actually some form of constitutional convention. The Assembly should be the basis of this. Whatever its merits/demerits it’s the major representative body of our society. It should do more and not be sidelined by the NGO’s. beside the members aren’t exactly swamped with work are they? Use the senate chamber/committee rooms to convene a NI Bill of Rights convention. The NIHRC can be the support and can steer the debate but let the politicians dominate it and let the NGO play a part but in a more advisory capacity not as controllers, or the major direct players in the debate. If you want a bill of rights project to succeed it has to be created by and owned by the political elites. The NGO movement may not like this much but the other method hasn’t and wont work it will just end Monica’s tenure as surely as it ended Brice’s. In order to focus debate give it a deadline date, say Feb/march 2007, and let the convention create a BoR document as a piece of legislation which will then be put before the full assembly chamber following the 2007 election to be voted on and approved. Once this happens the Sec of state would happily put it through Westminster and it will sail if it has support from all in NI. Admittedly this is a semi utopian process but I cant see any prospect of an effective BoR being created unless something like this is attempted or at least a round table anyway. But for optical reasons I think a grander process would be more effective.

    I will leave to the side my issues about the need for, or power contained in the agreement for the NIHRC to actually write a bill of rights in the first place as a consensus to the contrary seems to have developed anyway. Reasoned argument only gets you so far I suppose.

  • Niall

    “They didn’t. Unionists bore some of the brunt.”
    -minimal to a degree not worth considering. This is nowadays brought up as a counter to the vast and ‘almost’ total discrim which was directed against Nationalists.

    “Yes, that’s right. In Northern Ireland, there were separate “Protestant only” and “Roman Catholic only” drinking fountains. Roman Catholics had to sit at the back of the bus. Beaches were divided into Protestant and Roman Catholic sections. Roman Catholics were denied the vote and denied citizenship. Yes, it was “exactly alike””

    Again I ask that you read what I wrote “while I agree the scale and degree was worse in the US South and SA (I didn’t claim any of the three had a monopoly on suffering) I say that there was official discrim and it was systematic in all three.” By high lighting differences between the three systems you hope to defend your claim that the discrim was not official and systematic in each. I AGREE it was different in each but like US South and SA “I say that there was official discrim and it was systematic in all three”.

    Showing that there is a difference doesn’t make any less palatable as is, I believe, your aim. Why do you think that because there were different water fountains outside NI that this lessens the discrim in NI regarding housing and jobs? Might I point out that projecting the discrim in South US and SA as being worse than in NI, could infer that any discrim is less reprehensible that another, and dare I go there, excusable!?

    “MOPE.”
    And from that term I take it you have learned very little from the past whereby your denial / defense of the discrim prior to 1972 clouds you view of those that take a different view on the issue. You sum this up in a dismissive term reverting the blame / guilt factor back.

  • Niall

    in reply to ……….”There were in fact numbers of loyalists interned in the 1970’s….

    MOPE remains a useful term

    Posted by: aquifer at June 20, 2005 08:51 AM”

    In August 1971 the Stormont government instituted internment, and in the first sweeps the RUC arrested hundreds of nationalists and republicans, but not a single unionist. Although this was an attempt to crush the IRA, internment arrests apprehended no IRA leaders, and most of the arrests were of civil rights activists or older people who had perhaps been active in the struggle decades previously but were not involved any longer. Nationalists quickly interpreted internment as another way the unionists could assert their power over the nationalist community, and these beliefs were heightened when the news came out that many of the internees had been tortured, a fact later admitted by British investigators.

  • Niall

    in reply to …..“On the heinous murder of the Quinn children. The evidence presented at court showed that the attack was the result of a sectarian vendetta that had nothing to do with Drumcree. The local police commander also confirmed in writing that there was no invovlement in the murder by the Orange Order.
    Posted by: fair_deal at June 17, 2005 10:48 PM”

    The attack happened during the heightened tensions of Drumcree season. You wrote… “the result of a sectarian vendetta that had nothing to do with Drumcree” …. but isn’t Drumcree sectarian and any killing the result of vendetta.

    Why was the attack at this time rather than any of the other 11 months of the year? What was happening in the 6 counties at the time? If the attack was unrelated to Drumcree then why did the OO cancel it’s protest soon afterwards?

    “….Riots which accompany the annual Twelfth parades in 1992 result in the death of Kieran Abram. At the trial for manslaughter of three men accused of involvement in his death Justice Mc Collum said of the Twelfth, “hatred and antagonism are aroused, and the rituals surrounding the activities of those preparing for what is supposed to be a celebration, reflect the awakening and also the encouragement of those feelings of hatred and antagonism” (Londonderry Sentinel, 29.12.1994, p.7). The Grand Lodge of Ireland reacted to the comments with “incredulity”…..”

  • Sol

    First of all, I agree with you on the Belfast issue, but I fail to see where it fits into this discussion, Finland is the most racist country I have experienced.

    Your point was that this form of discrimination was “exactly like”.
    “THE SYSTEMATIC AND OFFICIAL DISCRIMINATION IS EXACTLY LIKE THAT OF THE SOUTHERN STATES.”
    To complain of being a 2nd class citizen, and comparing that existence with a person, who was’nt even treated as a citizen let alone human being, had no rights whatsoever, doesn’t have their own name, nor their own religion, just baffles me.

    “there is no official or systematic elements – black and white communites, while not integrated, do live in inter-ethnic harmony.”
    I regret to inform you that this is not entirely true, from my own experiences there are tensions in some areas and an unfair system in place, although it is less visible and active than in the past.

    “It’s a pity that NI didn’t activily encourage the same changes and reconciliations (from the Federal gov in Wash DC) whereby we’re having this discussion 37 years after Caledon and Burntollet.”
    It would be difficult for NI to change legislation that wasn’t there in the first place, willowfield mentioned the bus issue, and fountain issues. I am not aware that segregation on this level occurred. I am sure that religious discrimination existed, and still does exist in NI and RoI. But I seriously doubt that it was to the levels mentioned.

    How can the discrim by skin colour be any different / worse than the discrim by religion/politics?
    Skin is something we have to wear everyday, all day, can’t hide it, can’t deny it. I can’t really say if it’s worse or not.

    “Anyway, while skin colour may not have been the basis of discrim in NI it’s common knowledge that one’s beliefs/religion/politics are known by all based on residency, school, job, name, …..ad nauseum.”
    For a job interview I can see how discrimination could occur through having this knowledge of a person, but how many people know this on a day to day basis, can everyone you meet on a daily basis tell what religion you are or who you vote for?
    Everytime I meet an Asian person, I can tell right away that they are Asian, I don’t need to know what school they went to, or what their name is, thus discrimination by skin color is different, in that, the oppressor doesn’t need personal knowledge of his target.

    Sol
    (No acres, no mules)

  • Niall

    in reply to the following….
    1. To complain of being a 2nd class citizen, and comparing that…just baffles me.

    … 2. tensions in some areas and an unfair system in place,

    ….3. I am not aware that segregation on this level occurred. I am sure that religious discrimination existed, and still does exist in NI and RoI. But I seriously doubt that it was to the levels mentioned.

    4. Skin is something we have to wear everyday, all day, can’t hide it, can’t deny it. I can’t really say if it’s worse or not…For a job interview I can see how discrimination could occur through having this knowledge of a person, but how many people know this on a day to day basis, can everyone you meet on a daily basis tell what religion you are or who you vote for?

    Sol
    (No acres, no mules)”

    I’ll try again….1. By high lighting differences between the three systems you hope to defend your claim that the discrim was not official and systematic in each. I AGREE it was different in each but like US South and SA “I say that there was official discrim and it was systematic in all three”.

    2. there is no official & systematic discrim in the USA. There are differences in the socio-economic lifestyles of black and white and there are tensions. However everything is done by gov to reverse/temper these issues.

    3. comparing discrim by use of the water fountains? I wrote that there was discrim in all three areas – I didn’t differentiate between the degree in any area but that it was present in all three. I think unionist are attempting redemption by implying that discrim in US South and SA was worst (agreed) therefore it wasn’t relevant in NI (wrong – the point I’m trying to make). I now see that the discrim in NI minimalized by saying that it’s still in NI and ROI. I thought we were talking ablut it in NI prior to ’72. Don’t attemp to shift the goal posts.

    4. discrim is not just about skin colour as shown by the homophobia demonstrated in the latest survey. One of the most frequent complaints in offices is about ‘hostile enviro’ which is discrim based on…that your pick of any group dynamics.

  • Sol

    Niall
    Apologies for slow postings been, busy and still is busy.
    1. I never made any claim of the sort, Nor am I defending any claim.
    My main point is, Can it be ethical, or even honest, to use the persecution of a race of people who:
    Have absolutely no relationship with you.
    Live several thousand miles away from you, and suffered hardships that are beyond your comprehension let alone experience, in your argument?

    2. OK so you have not been to the US, The main law I can think of at the minute is the miscegenation laws in some states, granted they are never enforced, but the legislation remains, the government still have work to do.

    3. Obviously the discrimination was worse, much worse, My point is, that implying it was the same is dishonest.
    Im not trying to move any goalposts, what is the goal anyway? I refered to both NI and ROI because in previous threads there have be views put forward that suggest that discrimination was evident in ROI and the island in general.
    I am in no way challenging anyone that there wasnt discrimination.

    4. I dont understand this, could you explain further.

    Sol

  • Niall

    Yeah Sol I know what you mean, my boss will be asking me soon if I’m ever going to do some work….

    1.a. I feel that most of the prior posts regarding the discrim in NI sought to lessen the effect by showing the worse cases elsewhere.
    1.b. all crimes of discrim should be recognised and condemned. Discrim is probably one of the most base crime and therefore all of mankind is sullied by it regardless of the miles. I feel that intl recognition, from miles away (eg. UN embargoes and boycott thro’ sports), forced the end of apartheid. Should anti-discrim be only by those who have been discrim’d against ? No, of course not. Injustice isn’t parochial but int’l otherwise what’s the point of int’l humanitarian aid.
    1.c. “no relationship with you” and “live several thousand miles away from you” are based on your assumptions which aren’t necessarily true.

    2.a. “you have not been to the US” – wrong.
    2.b. discrim is a Federal offense in the USA and these laws supercede any state laws. The USA, being a melting pot of ethnic groups, ensures that no race/religion is shown favour as it would lead to politicians being booted from office – always a hindering factor amongst those looking for votes. Therefore there is now no official or systematic discrim in the USA.

    3.a. “implying it was the same is dishonest”. Au contraire, it you who is being dishonest. Discrim is a base crime against humanity and because some try and deflect NI’s official and systematic crime by minimizing it’s effect in comparison to that in US and SA they are perpetuating this crime. I never thought my linking discrim in NI to that of the USA nd SA would reveal the blinkered thoughts of so many or that they have clear consciences over the official behaviour in NI prior to ’72.
    3.b. the goal is to recognise that there was official and systematic discrim in NI and the subsequent disfunctional society that it created. However attempts have been made to show the degree of this crime was greater elsewhere thereby minimizing it’s effect in NI and give some a feeling of group innocence. Bringing ROI into the arguem’t “we weren’t the only ones” again as a means of minimizing the crime.
    3.c. “I am in no way challenging anyone that there wasnt discrimination”. Then we agree. I was merely pointing out that it was present in all three and I feel some tried to bring it’s effect to a minimum in NI by highlighting the extent elsewhere.

    4. Simplistically, I understood you to be saying that the only discrim is by skin colour as this is what is most readily indentifiable. I say no; nowadays, as skin colour racism is “so passé “ most cases are due to homophobia. In offices (I’m working in a office) there is any number of basis of complaints (take any group dynamics) which can cause a ‘hostile envio’.

    I honestly didn’t aim to stir things up but I now look at things in a different light. I can’t believe that there is such common opinion in NI which seeks to minimize the discrim and the subsequent effects – to me the basis of the problems in the Sick Counties. In the absence of accepting the fact that this crime took place I can’t see how the place will ever become a normal society.

  • Niall

    Sol,
    Following your point 2 above; you may be interested in reviewing the US State laws based on the nine McBride Principles. Not only does the USA introduce laws to undermine discrim within their borders but they also feel it’s their duty to support economic, social and political justice by US companies when they do business in NI.

    The MacBride Principles

    (1) Increasing the representation of individuals, from underrepresented religious groups in the workforce, including managerial, supervisory, administrative, clerical, and technical jobs.
    A workforce that is severely unbalanced may indicate prima facie that full equality of opportunity is not being afforded all segments of the community in Northern Ireland. Each signatory to the MacBride Principles must make every reasonable lawful effort to increase the representation of underrepresented religious groups at all levels of its operations in Northern Ireland.

    (2) Adequate security for the protection of minority employees at the workplace.
    While total security can be guaranteed nowhere today in Northern Ireland, each signatory to the MacBride Principles must make reasonable good faith efforts to protect workers against intimidation and physical abuse at the workplace. Signatories must also make reasonable good faith efforts to ensure that applicants are not deterred from seeking employment because of fear for their personal safety at the workplace.

    (3) Banning provocative sectarian or political emblems from the workplace.
    Each signatory to the MacBride Principles must make reasonable good faith efforts to prevent the display of provocative sectarian emblems at their plants in Northern Ireland.

    (4) Providing that all job openings be advertised publicly and providing that special recruitment efforts be made to attract applicants from underrepresented religious groups.
    Signatories to the MacBride Principles must exert special efforts to attract employment applications from
    the sectarian community that is substantially underrepresented in the workforce. This should not be construed to imply a diminution of opportunity for other applicants.

    (5) Providing that layoff, recall and termination procedures do not favor a particular religious group,
    Each signatory to the MacBride Principles must make reasonable good faith efforts to ensure that layoff, recall and termination procedures do not penalize religious groups disproportionately. Layoff and termination practices that involve seniority solely can result in discrimination against a particular religious group if the bulk of employees with greatest seniority are disproportionately from another religious group.

    (6) Abolishing job reservations, apprenticeships restrictions and differential employment criteria which discriminate on the basis of religion,
    Signatories to the MacBride Principles must make reasonable good faith efforts to abolish all differential employment criteria whose effect is discrimination on the basis of religion. For example, job reservations and apprenticeship regulations that favor relatives of current of former employees can, in practice, promote religious discrimination if the company’s workforce has historically been disproportionately drawn from another religious group.

    (7) Providing for the development of training programs that will prepare substantial numbers of minority employees for skilled jobs, including the expansion of existing programs and the creation of new programs to train, upgrade and improve the skills of minority employees,
    This does not imply that such programs should not be open to all members of the workforce equally.

    (8) Establishing procedures to assess, identify and actively recruit minority employees with the potential for further advancement,
    This section does not imply that such procedures should not apply to all employee equally.

    (9) Providing for the appointment of a senior management staff member to be responsible for the employment efforts of the entity and, within a reasonable period of time, the implementation of the principles described above.
    In addition to the above, each signatory to the MacBride Principles is required to report annually to an independent monitoring agency on its progress in the implementation of these Principles.

    This is the type of forward thinking and brave progress need in Ireland and is, of course, lacking from London.

  • Sol

    1a. The comparisons were not brought up by myself, actually the comparisons that were drawn distorted the truth by leading the reader to form the conclusion that the conditions were alike, the poster who put forward this view, was yourself.
    I have’nt read a post on here that hints at lessening the effect of discrimination in NI, My view is that there has been discrimination in every part of the world, and that it should be condemned, but the acts of such a crimes in NI do not equate to the acts carried out in the USA or SA, And I stand by my point that to equate the discrimination in those countries, with the discrimination in NI, is dishonest.

    1b I agree, and condemn discrimination.
    1c Replace “you” with “people of Ireland”, the intention wasn’t personal, unless you are referring to the spiritual connection that extends to all the people who live on the planet?.

    2a Hope you enjoyed.
    2b, Then why do these laws still exist, and why are people not treated equally.
    Are you holding the USA electoral system as an example of how a government should be elected?

    3a. I never deflected anything, You made the direct comparison, that people in NI had undergone THE SAME discrimination as the people in the USA, I have stated about 3 times now, that this is not the case.
    I am not being dishonest, find a post where I have lied.

    But you didn’t simply link the discrimination, you made a direct, weight for weight comparison, and measured it as the same value, this is untrue, and I think deliberate.
    I am becoming depressingly aware of the blinkered thoughts of many people as I progress in years, I would agree with you on the consciences, those that committed discrimination should be seeking forgiveness.

    3b I also think there may have been official and systematic discrimination in NI.
    Fair enough, I’ll leave the ROI out of this discussion, currently there is no need for it on this thread. But it shows good awareness on your part that discrimination is not confined to one locality.
    3c I am not minimizing anything, I am sure at an individual level it must have been tragic.
    But you did not merely point out that it was present, you deliberately made a like for like comparison. You said “Exactly like” not “was present”, there is more evidence of you maximizing the discrimination, than of any poster minimizing it. The truth must be in the middle.
    I wasn’t born before 1972, so I couldn’t tell you.

    4. Skin color racism is definitely not “passé” in my book.
    Explain further, are you talking about personal discrimination?

    I don’t think anyone can say that discrimination didn’t take place, But where is the truth in making the exact comparison with what in the USA.
    The principles are commendable, I have heard of them before.
    Interesting you mention London, as it is one of the few places I feel a person of any race can fit in.

    Sol

  • Sol

    “as skin colour racism is “so passé “…”

    Thats actually the most bizarre and slightly disturbing thing I have ever heard anyone say.

  • Niall

    “Thats actually the most bizarre and slightly disturbing thing I have ever heard anyone say.
    Posted by: Sol at June 23, 2005 08:38 PM”

    pointing out that differentiation based on skin colour is nowadays realized by all, beyond all doubt, as a groundless basis of distinguishing people. Most of the discrim in the workplace isn;t based on the colour of skin but the gender, age, sex orientation etc

  • Niall

    Hi Sol,
    I reviewed your last post and don’t feel I should go thro’ it point by point unless you’d like me to, if so please revert and I’ll gladly onlige.

    Funny to see that you think I can speak on behalf of the people of Irel in your line ….Replace “you” with “people of Ireland”, the intention wasn’t personal” – I know a lot of people who would disagree with that sentiment. ; ) You weren’t born before ’72…!! I would have pegged you for a lot older than you seem to be..!! In mentioning London I didn’t mean London society as a whole but the gov of London / British gov.

    I was reading the following hyperlink
    and I think much of it can be compared to NI.

    1. Whites had the upper hand, dominating politics, the economy and law enforcement and tried to force blacks to accept their role as an underclass. We recognise this from NI
    2. In September 1963 four little black girls were killed when Klansmen bombed a Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama. The killing of the Quinn boys during the Drumcree season is uncanily similar
    3. …were on their way to investigate a church firebombing in Mississippi.There was a RC church firebombed in Portadown only last night (22June’05).
    4. The trio were arrested by Cecil Price, a deputy sheriff for Neshoba County, who…This collusion seems exactly like the killing in ‘82 of Gervaise McKerr, Sean Burns and Eugene Toman signing for parole at Newry RUC
    5. “It galvanised blacks outside of the South, many of whom were out of touch with what was going on.” Hence the importance of harnessing the conscience and support of everyone and anyone outside of those being discriminated against; the opposite to which, I believe, you wrote previously.
    6. “….changed radically since then and prosecutors are very willing, and indeed anxious, to bring these cases.” Sadly lacking from London exampled this week by Bertie having o threaten European intervention for results re Dubln & Monaghan bombings.London must consider having European input will delay things further.
    7. Mr White (of NAACP) said: “The South is completely different to what it was 40 years ago and a lot of black families have moved back there because of the way it’s changed.
    “But there is still a lot of work to be done. “ Very different to NI where the discrim hasn’t been recognised and the last 37 years since Caledon and Burntollet where there has been little acceptance of the past and therefore what the future for all should be.

    In this article I also found a few interesting statistics namely the number of blacks killed/lynched over the period. I couldn’t get the population of the USA and the % of blacks at that time so I used the data as of 2000.

    Of the USA’s year 2000 population of 281.423mio people there were 35.704mio blacks. If we image this same break-out in pre civil rights time when 5,000 over 80 years (ie. 62.5 per year) then this give a percentage of 0.0001751% lynching per head of black population.

    In the book “Counties of Contention” 1945, Mercier Press, Benedict Kiely speaks of the pogroms in Belfast in 1935. Between the speech in 1934 by Sir Basil Brooke “…I have but not one about my place…” and his speech “…I strongly deny that I have ever attacked any man because of his religion…” there was 12 killings. Four of these were proven to be because they were Catholics. Assuming a Catholic population of ½ million then this gives a killing per population of 0.0008% which is far worse than in the USA. Also there’s the fact that the perpetrators in the USA come from a far larger percentage of non blacks (100 – 13% => 87%) then you can see than the crime in NI was worst as it was committed by perpetrators from a population closer to the ½ million Catholics.

    If the average percentage of lynching per annum in the USA was to be applied to NI population of about 1.2mio then this would give us….2.100605 people. Now do I think that more than two people a year have been killed in NI because they were Nationalists – yes I do. Please note that this isn’t a scientific example nor is it representative but I use it to back my claims and this is what my opinions are based.

    I think that you and I have had polite, useful and informative communications. Can I pose to you that if I’m of the opinions (and assuming that I’m a reasonable person) that I hold, and these might also be held by a number of voters in NI. Then what, in your opinion should be done to assuage me that NI has changed for the better from it’s problematic ways with any hopes for the future taking into account the changes in USA from the above article?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4084996.stm

  • Niall

    the above hyperlink didn’t work but the address is at the bottom of my post.

    In my points 1 – 7 I take a line (usually one line) from the article and give my comment / comparison to NI. Sorry, the italics didn’t come thro’ correctly.

    If I ever get my head around this internet thingammy I’ll be a right pest to Fealty and never get anything done in the office.

    Slán leat

  • Sol

    So we have gone from being exactly the same, to, not as bad, then to worse.
    Is it not normal, to gather research, THEN form an opinion?
    To have an idea, then go out find and evidence for that idea, and ignore the tonnage of evidence that proves that particular idea invalid, is not being honest.
    After nearly a week I have seen no evidence that would change my position. My position is not based on politics, just realism (although its interesting that you assume that I am a unionist).

    We are just going to have to agree to disagree.

    Sol

    Tsahorain tovim

    Should it be slan agat rather than slan leat? whats the diff?

  • bertie

    I wonder would bill of rights include the right of people in NI to have an equality commission that wasn’t totally and utterly useless re disability? probably not, not unless disabled people formed their own terrorist group.

  • Niall

    “Is it not normal, to gather research, THEN form an opinion?”
    or, as what happened in this case, have an opinion and then a contempary case lands in the news, use this case and the included data, as support. I don’t see many discussing or disputing the numbers and my arithmatic / percentages which is what I would have considered more important than the chronology of events on this blog-forum!??!

    “ignore the tonnage of evidence that proves that particular idea invalid,” which you support by…{missing} and my included analysis which you dispute and counter in a point by point manner…{also missing}. Does this mean you ” not being honest”.

    “After nearly a week I have seen no evidence that would change my position.” I’ve posted percentages and hard facts and figures which are as contempory as one can get. My data / analysis stands, it can do no other – apologies to ML Diet at Worms

    “My position is not based on politics, just realism “ your position is honourable but when you dispute mine shouldn’t you post the basis of your opinion with supporting data. I don’t know where the idea of realism comes from if it can’t be backed up with cold black and white data should it be used as a counter to mine.

    “although its interesting that you assume that I am a unionist”. In a brief review of the posting I couldn’t find where I assumed you were a unionist. Didn’t you assume that I’d never been to the USA and yet I could supply statistics about the country and information about the laws of the land of the free home of the brave?

    agam
    agat
    aige
    aici…..

    Auf wiedersehen oder tschuess

  • Sol

    So we have gone from being exactly the same, to, not as bad, then to worse. Which is the case? why have you changed position so many times? Signs of desperation?

  • Sol

    So apparently the greatest crime against humanity (universally recognises), is actually only the second greatest.
    I had no idea that the slave trade was not widely known.
    Obviously I have to go and prove this, along with the rest of the sordid past.
    Incidently, do you have your original name (ancestors name), and your original religion?
    Did the NI government ever introduce syphillus into the nationalist population? any medical experiments?
    I’ll reply more fully at a later date.

    Sol

  • Niall

    “why have you changed position so many times?” and to think that earlier I was chastised for not being able to hold a number of views at once. I have not changed my opinion but I think I have a different opinion from yourself and that seems to be annoying you. “Signs of desperation?” that I give my analysis of facts, figures and percentages whilst you criticize the chronology of my postings and haven’t offered any numeric support for your stance? I think not.

    “I’ll reply more fully at a later date” hopefully with some data that I can compare and/or review rather than just read your unsupported opinion.