The bearable lightness of North Southery

Brian Feeney talks us through the significance of the non events of the last three weeks, and reckons it’s 1-0 to Nationalists courtesy of the “no show” of government proposals, courtesy of a veto from the Republic’s government. The significance he argues is long term rather than short term and demonstrates the degree to which southern involvment in Northern Ireland’s affairs is now accepted across the political board. North Southery is now a game for all of Northern Ireland’s querulous political families.

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  • páid

    Well it seems to me that the govts. have decided that a ‘political vaccuum’is to be avoided at all costs so the glacial erosion process continues at a pace just fast enough to placate green, and just slow enough not to rattle orange. Both expect it, at this stage. Plan A is restoration of Stormont and Plan B, as I and others have said before, is de facto but not de jure joint authority. Orange has to decide which is best of two bad options. Either way the British govt. get ‘peace’in NI and the Southern govt. get ‘peace’ in NI and halts SF’s progress. So the current situation suits those in power. Nothing new there.

  • BogExile

    Feeney is rapidly becoming the Crown Prince (or do I mean Clown Prince) of nationalist schadenfreude.

    The cuddly face of neo-shinnerdum?

  • Jacko 92

    The bearable lightness of North Southery?
    More like the unbearable smugness of Brian Feeney, who sometimes makes the Shinners seem moderate and non-sectarian.

  • slug

    The dropping of Articles two and three have been instrumental in allowing the better reliationships north and south alluded to here.

  • Mick Fealty

    Can we have some discussion of the content, and less about the writer?

    A couple for the pot: is he right? If he is, does it add up to what he says it does? But don’t stop at these.

  • BogExile

    Ok then:

    ‘…Bertie Ahern has successfully convinced unionists that the Republic does not want to invade and annex the north. Michael McDowell regularly supplies the DUP with ammunition against Sinn Féin.’

    Ahern is trusted amongst Unionists about as far as I can throw my granny. It is electorally expedient for him to isolate Sinn Fein. When is is not, he will cut and trim as appropriate.

    Michael McDowell is clearly instinctively opposed to the perversion of Republican ideals by SFIRA and this is very refreshing. I would agree that his influence is helping the scales to fall from US eyes and this is welcome if a bit late in the day.

    Does it all add up to Dublin calling the shots? Bollocks. The model of interventionism envisaged by the Anglo-Irish agreement failed and was dumped. The Ulster Unionists ensured that overt joint authority by secretaaiate was never in the GFA. The more subtle influencing and persuading game now being played in a wider N-S E-W context is appropriate for the times and simply describes how complex and inter-related our relationships are on these islands.

  • páid

    I tend to agree with Brian Feeney and Bog Exile. Feeney correctly describes the loss of power that the unionist / tory faction has had in NI. There is a recognition of the importance of symbolism to unionism and the nationalist project is shifting to practicalities; aided by global trends in business and communications. As NI loses it’s ‘little piece of Finchley’ appearance; the south has modernised to the extent that it’s own differences from Britain have narrowed significantly. It’s all M&S and Sky Sports down here. Throw in the gradual centripetalism of Scotland and Wales, and BogExile’s point of the political arrangements increasingly resembling the social and cultural realities NSEW, and I percieve that realignment continues steadily. The monobloc UK and the little ol’ ROI are fading away imho.

  • slug

    Is this column wrong now, since Bertie Ahern is today talking about an assembly without an executive.?

  • lib2016

    McGuiness seems to be willing to go along according to UTV (can anyone do that link thingie, please?)


    Well I don’t think the UTV report suggested that. But it looks as though Bertie supports an interim assembly without an executive which seems inconsistent with Feeney’s main starting point (putting aside his 1-0 to nationalists stuff).

  • M. Gibbs, Chicago

    Wake up and smell the coffee all you Unionists! Northern Ireland is a failed entity, and how could it not be given the way you clowns did things when you ruled the roost? The world has moved on, suck it up!