Containment is shared British and Irish aim…

The Andersonstown News argues that the British and Irish governments have a shared agenda: to contain the Northern Irish problem firmly within Northern Ireland. Albeit , it argues, for vastly different reasons. In London it is to get enough fair treatment for nationalists/republicans/Catholics to keep them quiet but not to allow them power to govern. For Dublin the policy is to get enough British promises of stability in the northeast to keep things quiet and so allow British control “for the foreseeable future”, British promises of fair treatment, but not the reality of it.

  • Shore Road Resident

    So why does the Andersonstown News Group keep accepting British government grants?

  • Mick Fealty

    I know that playing the man has become de riguer amongst some of our readers, but can we just stick to the content please!

  • fair_deal

    Plan B?

    This doesn’t read like the governments’ Plan A, but it may have some validity as a Plan B. However, the series of assumptions to support the premise are somewhat dodgy.

    If it is a Plan B it has ended up this way because of republicanism’s inability to recognise Ulster Unionism is an entity in its own right and not a simple adjunct of the British establishment. This editorial is a good example of that mindset. It’s negotiating focus since the signing of the Agreement has been on the governments not Unionism.

    2016?

    This is possibly the closest yet to an editorial in a republican paper saying that 2016 is not going to be the year of Unity.

    Its not the economy stupid!

    The successful economy = irish unity argument looks like wishful thinking. The historic opposition to Irish Home Rule was based upon Ulster’s economic success so a booming NI economy does not necessarily guarantee any greater support for Irish Unity. If things are succeeding why would it be changed? If it isnt broke why fix it?

    Some of the measures to deal with NI’s economic structural problems would also not be popular with the nationalist community e.g. downszing of the public sector (the Catholic middle classes in particular have been a key beneficiary of the expansion of this sector). Will they be willing to take pain today for the questionable promise of unity later?

    Also the EU’s push for the necessary degree of economic integration between nation states competing in a global economy negates the requirement for irish unity to be the means of economic integration.

    New political landscape?

    The description of a whole group of parties automatcially grouping together in a united Ireland is questionable.

    If unity were achieved and SF had been the driving force would they not be expecting an electoral reward?
    Unionism also holds together an uneasy class alliance, could that alliance survive unity? Would substantial chunks of the Unionist community even stay?

    Also the description of this “for many democrats a frightening one.” is perverse.

    Republicans preach about the will of the Irish people yet if it were the will of the Irish people to elect such a government its “frigthening”? A democrat would not be scared of it.

    “If London and Dublin were dealing with the leader of the Catholics it would be different they would tell them to go and chase themselves.”

    They do he’s called Gerry Adams and over the past decade they have not been telling him to go away in fact the reverse.

    “all of them representing a hidden subsidy to the British retail economy. They couldn’t do it in Yorkshire!”

    Er..Yorkshire, which has some substantial areas of poverty, is subsidised by the public purse like most of Northern England

    This editorial should maybe have followed its own advice “it is not always wise to forecast future politics or power struggles”

  • elfinto

    Mick,

    This article contains a good analysis of the current state of play. In particular the analysis of the southern political establishment is spot on – i.e. it is completely lacking in principle.

    Do you know wrote this article?

  • mnob

    “This means that the North’s economy will not be allowed to develop on independent lines, it will continue to have a large element of unproductive money pumped into the North through subsidies and pumped out again through Marks and Spencers, Debenhams and other retail enterprises, all of them representing a hidden subsidy to the British retail economy. They couldn’t do it in Yorkshire! ”

    ??? This is exactly the same as happens in Yorkshire. You can argue about the levels of subvention but the argument is just the same. Money and resources flow in, money and resourced flow out – its called an economy. Though singling out retail is a bit misleading.

    “One of the most powerful political alliances in a free Ireland would be that between the present-day British unionists, including the Alliance party, large sections of Fine Gael and the Progressive Democrats and smaller sections of the SDLP. That could be a formidable array of political power. And for many democrats a frightening one. The Irish Labour Party, under present leadership and for some time to come, would probably be sympathetic to this alliance of the right.”

    This is a very depressing analysis and surely contrary to republicanthink. The assumption is that unionists would continue to vote unionist and that this unionist bloc would be right wing.

    “Paisley and his people, the IMC and their people, the police and their supporters, who are hindering a peaceful settlement, are not enemies of Mr Ahern and Mr Blair. They are doing what suits both of them. Doing it these days, of course, with more finesse, less rudeness and more appearance of civility than in the past.

    And both London and Dublin can truthfully say they are bowing to the wishes not just of a rough street demonstrator but to the leader of Irish Protestants. ”

    So they’ve stolen republicans clothes. Imitation and all that.

  • Mick Fealty

    Fintan, I presumed it was an editorial so I’m not sure who the actually writer is.

  • Mickhall

    The problem with this article is it asks the question but fails to answer it. However it does show the shinners are finally waking up to the fact that Blair is not their friend, [inshaller] having said this I fear they may go down the road of being fooled into believing that some form of joint authority will be their least worst option. Any joint authority will be nothing but window dressing as it will be the UK government who pays the bills, thus the economy etc will still be London centric. Who pays the piper call the tune is a hard rule in politics which is forgotten at ones peril.

    No Irish Republican worthy of the name can support any form of direct rule from London, to attempt to do so by tagging Dublin alongside London by sleight of hand is a non runner..

  • Holt

    “One of the most powerful political alliances in a free Ireland would be that between the present-day British unionists, including the Alliance party, large sections of Fine Gael and the Progressive Democrats and smaller sections of the SDLP. That could be a formidable array of political power. And for many democrats a frightening one. The Irish Labour Party, under present leadership and for some time to come, would probably be sympathetic to this alliance of the right.”

    Pat Rabbitte must have stood on a lot of toes!

    So FF & SF are parties of the left! Don’t make me laugh. €3bn tax relief for high earners must certainly finish FF’s claims of socialism.

  • Vindicated
    Have been saying for a while
    SF & MHG pincer movement on DUP.

  • Kathy_C

    Hi all,

    I found the last part of the editorial interesting when it stated the 2 gov’ts are listening to the leader of the protestants…Paisley rather than the leader of the Catholics….
    It had me shake my head…the leader of the Catholics…and who would that be….not SF….at times they take on a very anti-Catholic position and only bring out the Catholic issue when they are really really going down the tube.
    Since the editorial was in the Andersontown News I saw alot of Gerry Adams in that article…trying to explain the failures for no gov’t up and running and now blaming it on the fact the 2 gov’ts and their political agenda rather than on the failure of SF.

    I disagree with Mick Hall that states if SF goes down that road…they will be ‘fooled’…I think he is being kind to give SF a politcal way out rather than if they go down that road, I feel it is because of the british influence that is in SF and SF doing more of what england wants than Irish, Catholics, Republicans….who elected them.

  • Kat_D

    While the supporting argments in this editorial for the containment assertion are certainly up for debate, I’m hard pressed to see any actual evidence to the contrary… While it may not be in ther best interests for London and Dublin to play “hot potato” with the North, it certainly seems to be their plan for the short term.