Unification can only come from dialogue…

Minister McDowell has argued that the communication gap between Republicans and Unionists has become vast. If, he argues, Republicans are serious about building the kind of united Ireland (envisaged by Thomas Davies and others), they need to build some serious bridges with current unionists to pursuade them of the merits of a unified polity for the island. The only practical way to begin such a process, he believes, is by re-instating the democratic institutions of the Belfast Agreement.

  • elfinto

    This man’s logic is almost as topsy-turvy as that of the DUP. Loyalists spend three days wrecking the place and all he can do is criticise republicans. The sooner he is put out of his misery by the electorate of Dublin SE, the better.

  • smcgiff

    ‘The sooner he is put out of his misery by the electorate of Dublin SE, the better.’

    They tried that before!

  • Henry94

    The only practical way to begin such a process, he believes, is by re-instating the democratic institutions of the Belfast Agreement.

    Maybe he could persuade the unionists to do that before he tries anything else.

  • slug

    “The only practical way to begin such a process, he believes, is by re-instating the democratic institutions of the Belfast Agreement.”

    Where does he say this?

  • brian conway

    I agree with his comments but not the timing of the comments. We also need more frank discussion about the intentions of the Orange Order and a subtantial portion of the DUP to keep Northern Ireland a divided society. The recent rioting is a demonstration of the panic being felt by the Order and loyalists now that they will no longer be able to sit back and blame republicans for all of Northern Ireland’s problems.

  • lib2016

    slug

    read the link, including the next phrase

    ” or failing this to move to some other arrangement…..”

    That seems IMHO to be the real meat. We’re being told (both sides) that the GFA will go ahead with whatever minor adjustments are needed. Given recent republican moves they will be up for practically any reasonable political initative as will the smaller parties.

    That leaves the unionist mainstream……?

  • slug

    “The only practical way to begin such a process, he believes, is by re-instating the democratic institutions of the Belfast Agreement.”

    I did read the link – and again I can not see where Michael McDowell says this. I am only raising this as a point of information. I think that Mick has mis-read the piece.

  • Keith M

    lib “Given recent republican moves they will be up for practically any reasonable political initative as will the smaller parties.”

    Which moves? The McCarney murder, the Northern Bank job, the Colombia 3? These are the only “moves” I’ve seen.

    “That leaves the unionist mainstream……?” i.e the majority of the people of Northern Ireland. The last time I looked the biggest of the smaller parties (APNI) where agreeing with the DUP on the desirability of a voluntary coalition.

  • lib2016

    Keith,

    Republican decommissioning is underway and McDowell is signalling the way forward. Unionists have no effective voice and no forum to use it even if they could unite around a policy, any policy.

    No doubt you’re happy to recycle the same old propaganda endlessly while Belfast burns but 70% of us want to work together and get on with our lives in peace.

    That peace is going to happen and I genuinely hope that the unionist population can play their part, but if they don’t then they’ll be left behind.

    It’s a hard cruel world out there and there’s no room for people who want to drop out and live on the british dole. The Americans, the British and now the Irish are spelling it out for you.

  • Keith M

    lib “Republican decommissioning is underway..” In the words of Gilbert O’Sullivan, I”‘ll believe when I see it”.

    “…70% of us want to work together and get on with our lives in peace.” Exactly what 70% is that? The pro-appeasement parties (SF/IRA, the SDLP and fringe loyalist parties), barely account for 40% of the electorate. Maybe you missed the fact that Trimble is no longer the leader of the UUP and that that party is unlikely to even be the doormat to be walked on by SF/IRA ever again.

    “That peace is going to happen and I genuinely hope that the unionist population can play their part, but if they don’t then they’ll be left behind.” The “peace process” was an appeasement process and it ended whenn unionists woke up to the fact.

    “It’s a hard cruel world out there and there’s no room for people who want to drop out and live on the british dole.” Tell that to the Daily Provo.

  • slug

    McDowell did not make the statement that Mick has attributed to him. Read the link carefully.

  • lib2016

    slug

    You are right and my apologies for suggesting otherwise. Mind you the fact that both government in the person of Bertie and opposition in the person of Rabitte are confirming their support for the GFA shows it will be pursued.

    Anyone care to comment on whether these mini-riots in the unionist ghettoes really have the governments quaking? I keep seeing people claiming that the GFA is finished but it genuinely doesn’t look that way to me.

  • Keith M

    lib “I keep seeing people claiming that the GFA is finished but it genuinely doesn’t look that way to me.” Do you see a working executive, a assembly, full and complete decommissioning, a police service supported by both communities? Exactly what planet are you on?

  • lib2016

    I’m on the planet where two strands of the Agreement are proceeding slightly more slowly than I would have liked, and where the delays in implementing the internal strand are being tackled at an ever increasing pace.

    That’s what the majority of us voted for and that’s what we intend to get. The undemocratic opponents of the Agreement and their few hundred little friends who have given us all such trouble for the last few nights are about to be sorted out. Couldn’t happen to nicer people!

  • Keith M

    I just hope you have the compensation of good weather on your planet lib, because here on earth, two stands are not working at all, and the one that is, is working without the political representatives of a Northern Ireland assembly.

    When half the elected representatives of Northern Ireland are people who never supported the Belfast Agreement, it’s time to realise that things have considerably moved on in terms of what is and isn’t “democratic”. Lessons need to be learnt, the first being that you cannot turn back time (at least on planet earth).

  • Paul O

    Why does he feel that the restoration of democratic institutions will build bridges between republicans and unionists? The latter have been destroying parts of Belfast for the last few nights and this is with the period of direct rule that they called for!

  • Nic

    “Unification can only come from dialogue”, is it?
    Try replacing the “can” with “could” and see how that feels, would be my suggestion.

  • Alan2

    “subtantial portion of the DUP to keep Northern Ireland a divided society.”

    I think you will find the Good Friday Agreement took care of that all by itself. Designated Unionists and Nationalists remember…leaving Alliance in limbo and hardly worth voting for as their votes do not count.

  • Moderate Unionist

    lib2016
    That peace is going to happen and I genuinely hope that the unionist population can play their part, but if they don’t then they’ll be left behind

    Oh yeah, like that’s so inclusive. How can you have peace if you leave the Unionists behind? A purile argument.

    The Belfast Agreement is now dead. As indeed is the fair deal. Personally, I regret this but that’s life. As for peace, I wouldn’t like to bet on it. Roll on the next 25 years.

  • hotdogx

    And here we have the typical “ulster says no” unionist, roll on the next 25 years he says, the status quo, no change, continued berlin wall type situations in the six counties. Moderate Unionists like this person will always be left behind. Lets all believe the agreement is dead to keep things as they are. thats what they want! complete contol again not peace. If the unionist comunity wanted peace we’d have had votes for trimble not paisley

    Well the people of the six counties voted overwhelmingly for this peace agreement, infact more importantly the majority of the people on this island voted for it.

    Its hard to believe in this day and age we still have unionists, people that believe somehow that they are better off ruled by a country who doesn’t want them or care about the north.
    More and more unionists in buiness are becoming emotional unionists but ecnomic nationalists, roll on unification, change, peae and equality for all! Unionism excludes itself

  • southern observer

    Interesting points from McDowell.The crux for nationalists is whether unionists are potential co-nationals to be won over or enemies to be defeated.

  • aubrey

    It’s difficult to move forward when their are so many unanswered questions.

    Interesting article in the Tele about the memoirs of John Stevens

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=661417