Blueprints and Plan Bs

While Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been setting out the new time-table, a blueprint to be announced in about 3 weeks time – no details yet natch.. despite the apparent support of all three governments – Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Dermot Ahern, has been tasked with waving a big stick.. makes a change from Peter Hain, I guess..

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  • ingrammartin

    Hi,

    A joint authority role for the South would have to include them picking up the financial tag, the very small ecconomy of the South could not stand it nor would it be welcomed by the electorate.

    The J/A would also be well outside the terms of the GFA and that is exactly what the DUP want to happen! given what happened recently upon the streets of Dublin do you honestly think the British Govt could sell this to the Torries never mind the Loyalists.

    As for Violence. The ability to wage a violent campaign by loyalist is in my opinion a real distinct possibility. The level of training afforded to the many ex members of the Security forces UDR/RIR/RUC/PSNI which only a fool or the very naive would argue would not form the back bone of any future Loyalist campaign. Clearly a move to J/A would be a major change and I do not believe the Security forces i.e. THE PSNI COULD BE TRUSTED TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OVER THE DOGS OF WAR.

    The North is awash with arms. The number of legally owned arms in the North last year was 144,554 THAT WAS AN INCREASE OF ALMOST 4% ON THE 2001 FIGURE. IT IS AN UNDISPUTED FACT THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE ARE HELD BY PROTESTANTS.

    In 2004 the census for NI was 1,710,300 which means there is on average one gun for every nine adults. That makes the province the most heavily armed population in the WORLD.

    May I remind you of what leading loyalist Sammy Duddy said just after the announcement of the act of Decommissioning by the IRA on Sept 26 2005.

    If the democratic process was to lead to a United Ireland Quote” he envisaged Loyalist and UNIONISTS taking up arms.”Unquote

    The IRA was defeated in part by using Loyalism AS AN EXTENSION TO THE BRITISH ARMY, that experiance would in my opinion be turned upon those who trained and armed them and those who got in the way i.e. Catholics, The South, even the British Army would be fair game.

    Tony Blair does not have the authority nor the will to take on the might of Loyalism and the South are just playing with fire. Dermot Ahern is playing a very dangerous game, let him be warned. Albert Reynolds remarked upon exactly that in a radio interview a few years ago and made the point that the North is awash with Weapons. Reynolds was not refering to IRA weapons ( Which have now gone, so they say)but to Loyalist.

    Marty.

    Posted by ingrammartin on Mar 18, 2006 @ 11:53 AM

  • Ronan

    FOllows on Dermo’s talk of “more intergovernmentalism” a few months ago in the Belfast Telegraph.

    It must seem an attractive oppostunity for bertie and dermo to deliver for northern nationalists and cut sf out of the picture. A couple of years of joint authority prior to establishing FF in the six counties?

  • Brian Boru

    I like Plan B.

  • Brian Boru

    The Unionists will only have themselves to blame.

  • ingrammartin

    Brian Boru,

    Quote”The Irish Times reports that Bertie Ahern is sticking with plan A: Clear enough. Anything else is flying Kites.

    Plan B is a bit like the UK`s plans to invade the South if a National emergency dictated such actions.Hardly likely.

    Martin

  • Brian Boru

    Yes he is sticking with Plan A for the moment but the existence of Plan B – especially 8 years after the GFA – and the untenability of these endless chatshows at Hillsborough, Lancaster House, Stormont and Dublin – make it likely Plan B will be on the way in the forseeable future I believe.

  • missfitz

    Its worth remarking that for a long time no-one would admit that there WAS a plan B, so there is an inevitability about the significance of Plan B now being spoken about.

    The Ulster volunteers were initially formed in circumstances that bear some resemblance to the current picture. While I dont often agree with Martin, I think that the threat of loyalist disruption cannot be minimised.

    The only way foward will be one in which people are brought on board and allowed to remain on board.

    Just listening to Dermot Ahearn now, and it doesnt sound pretty. It looks like the next few weeks will be interesting

  • Comrade Stalin

    A joint authority role for the South would have to include them picking up the financial tag,

    Why ?

    In any case this isn’t a big deal. The Irish government are part-funding, for example, the upgraded Newry bypass to the border – 50% I believe. I wondered why the unionists hadn’t complained about it.

    the very small ecconomy of the South could not stand it nor would it be welcomed by the electorate.

    Rubbish – provide evidence for this unsubstantiated nonsense. The RoI economy is more than capable of shouldering the burden. Whether or not that would be popular is another matter.

    The ability to wage a violent campaign by loyalist is in my opinion a real distinct possibility.

    Are you arguing that we should give into the threat of violence ? We didn’t give into IRA violence. Why should we give into that of anyone else ?

    IT IS AN UNDISPUTED FACT THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE ARE HELD BY PROTESTANTS.

    It’s not undisputed, because I’m disputing it right now. You want to provide some sort of evidence about who you think holds those guns ?

  • loyalist

    Plan B was tried, it didn’t work in 85 it failed. Undoubtedly we can successfully oppose Irish interferance, but its silly we should even have to, just face down the provo criminals and implement the law without fear or favour. Direct rule is the real plan B.

  • mickhall

    There is no real plan B in my opinion, as far as the GFA is concerned plan A is the only game in town and if it becomes impossible to put it into practice due the the DUP intransigence and refusal to abide by the democratic wishes of the majority of the people of Ireland; then perhaps Blair and Ahern should put a referendum to the people of the ROI/UK. The question being should the governments go ahead with forming an assembly administration made up of the willing. I have no doubt what the answer would be.

    As to a Unionist military backlash, I remember of certain former NCO
    in British Army Intelligence telling me in his opinion the loyalists did not have the stamina to mount a long term campaign against the British State. I thought he was correct when he said this and I can see little that has occurred which would change my opinion.

    The OAS and its adherents within the French military and State tried such a campaign without success and I believe the same would happen within the UK/Ireland. Who would support such a campaign beyond the usual suspects and disgruntled securocrats and retired Col Blinks etc? The British State has enough on its hands in the middle east, any hint of such a mini coup would be neutered at birth. The rich and powerful are rakeing in the cash under this government, they have no wish to upset the applecart over NI.

  • missfitz

    Mick
    I think your argument has several flaws. The most obvious must be the idea of a small but determined organisation’s ability to hold the people of NI and the governments involved to ransom for a period of time. Surely we have just come through 30 years of this scenario. What would stop the loyalists from doing something similar? They certainly would have the excuse if they were to be subject to dual government.

    Secondly, it’s cloud cuckoo to say that there cannot be a plan B. Yes, plan A is the GFA and should be implemented, but it aint happening. While there is undoubtedly an element of “not a taigue in the house”, there is also a corresponding element of “dont bring a peeler about the place”.

    Its important to move away from seeing all the blame on one side, or all the solutions there either. Power sharing is done by the magic of “sharing”…. And to do that, real leadership needs to be shown. The leadership that can move cosy relationships out of chambers and the back of buses into the harsh light of constiuency reality.

    As to an assembly of the willing, sure thats a complete non-starter. You cannot deliberately disenfranchise any portion of the population just to suit another portion.

    We’ve had the referendum, we’ve had the chances, now we just have to wait and see what the future will bring as we are deliberately choosing not to determine that future for ourselves.

  • Busty Brenda

    Mick,

    I was around when the UDA were formed, looking at them from a catholic area was pretty intimidating, I have no wish to view such scenes again. The unionist/loyalist population are quite clearly capable of mounting a military backlash, without the backing of the BA. To say they are not, is simply niave. The guns issue, that we are so heavily armed is backed up in one of todays newspapers, I forget which one,but saw the headline earlier. They are hardly all IRA guns, since they are supposedly gone.

    I like plan B. Yes we were told plan A (GFA) was the only show in town, but how many times do we have to be told it’s dead in the water before we believe it’s dead in the water? Unless the DUP have some sort of metamorphis’ it isn’t going to work. There cannot be an assembly of the willing, because that would involve either the DUP or SF being left out in the cold, and it only works if there is inclusivity. Another referenda within the north would provide the exact same polarised results, extending it to include the UK/ROI won’t work, outsiders cannot force the people of NI into a settlement they are not happy with, it would not work.

    My money is on plan B going down as the only show in town. The threat of violence in a post 9/11 world would not look good on loyalism, they would be defeated-it won’t be tolerated now as it was 30 years ago. i don’t think it would be allowed to escalate to the level it was before,but the ability and bitterness and the threat to begin another sectarian war by loyalists cannot be taken lightly.

  • Brian Boru

    Someone mentioned a parallel with the period when the Old UVF was founded. However, the key different then was the huge support for Unionism within the British establishment – especially the military – which refused to lift a finger against the UVF. I think that while undoubtedly there are still neo-imperialists in the Brit securocrat establishment, I would imagine that in these post-imperial times they would obey their civilian masters this time, unlike at the Curragh in 1914.

    Plan B could well be a better guarantor of longer term peace, as both national allegiances would be reflected and institutionalised. It should be remembered that 95% of us voted Yes down here too, and that our views should not simply be shunted aside on the say-so of a party with 33% of the Northern vote.

  • Brian Boru

    “Plan B was tried, it didn’t work in 85 it failed. Undoubtedly we can successfully oppose Irish interferance, but its silly we should even have to, just face down the provo criminals and implement the law without fear or favour. Direct rule is the real plan B.”

    What? The Anglo-Irish Agreement 1985 remained in place until 1998 – long after the protests in the 80’s.

    If the Unionists don’t want Plan B, then they need to implement Plan A.

  • missfitz

    I take your point Brian, and you are right, there was a dependance within conservatism of the day for unionist votes to keep a majority. And yes, I agree things in that resepct are different, although dependance in Westminster upon unionism is still within memory.

    The parallel I was attempting to illustrate was the violent and primal need to protect “Ulster”, as both loyal and British. The UVF were prepared to fight to the death to prevent home rule in association with the south to come to fruition.

    Then, as now, there is a real unwillingness to accept the reins of power. I dont think that the Stormont governments of the past showed any level of ingenuity, creativity or foresight in the governance of the state. Certainly, they were constrained by the act, but they did nothing around it to assert their passion for the state. Well, except to retain it as a protestant state for a protestant people.

    I hate going back over history like this, as it implies there is no forward movement in thought. On the other hand, we can look back at our history, and learn where movement happened or didnt happen in an effort to get it right this time.

  • ingrammartin

    Mick,

    As to a Unionist military backlash, I remember of certain former NCO
    in British Army Intelligence telling me in his opinion the loyalists did not have the stamina to mount a long term campaign against the British State. I thought he was correct when he said this and I can see little that has occurred which would change my opinion.

    That was in the context of the GFA and not a move towards a weakening of the Union. Cast your mind back Mick and I also wrote about the vast Army of trained officers who are resident on the North of Ireland and the danger that posed. I contend that my remark above stands because the Union is in no danger.

    Oh yes . Senior NCO Thank You.

    Plan B is a carrot to all those who do not like the GFA. The GFA is the only game in time FULL STOP.

    Martin

  • Brian Boru

    But of course martin the GFA allows for a review i.e. changes so it could be argued that Plan B is not inconsistent with the GFA.

  • ingrammartin

    Comrade,

    Quote”A joint authority role for the South would have to include them picking up the financial tag

    Cos in the real world there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    Quote”Rubbish – provide evidence for this unsubstantiated nonsense. The RoI economy is more than capable of shouldering the burden. Whether or not that would be popular is another matter.

    Are you being serious here are just dreaming? jesus christ Kids can not even go the doctors without it costing 35 Euro a time.The Road infrastructure is disgrace and it can not even afford a fixed wing airforce. The Republic is a small country with a GDP showing growth but with no room to shoulder 5 billion a year subvention. Stop dreaming on this one and in any event the public of the South would not allow it to become an issue. You know it and I know it.

    Quote”Are you arguing that we should give into the threat of violence ? We didn’t give into IRA violence. Why should we give into that of anyone else

    It is a factor which will be considered by all sides.

    Quote”It’s not undisputed, because I’m disputing it right now. You want to provide some sort of evidence about who you think holds those guns ?

    The source is the Sunday Business post of 19 Feb 2006 and the census.

    As regards the ownership of these Arms? sorry I cannot answer that one for laughing. Clearly you have never lived in the North of Ireland.

    Martin.

  • Brian Boru

    “Are you being serious here are just dreaming? jesus christ Kids can not even go the doctors without it costing 35 Euro a time.The Road infrastructure is disgrace and it can not even afford a fixed wing airforce. The Republic is a small country with a GDP showing growth but with no room to shoulder 5 billion a year subvention. Stop dreaming on this one and in any event the public of the South would not allow it to become an issue. You know it and I know it.”

    The Southern budget last time was around 40 billion euros (£30 billion). Our economy is worth around £100 billion. I think the long run we could afford it, despite what the Castle Catholics and West Brits say. It would of course help greatly if the Brits re-organise the Northern economy in the context of a smaller public-sector and to stimulate the growth of the private-sector. Then the North in the long run wouldn’t be so dependent on subsidies and consequently the Northern economy would be more affordable – and perhaps self-financing – in a United Ireland.

  • ingrammartin

    Brian,

    This is the first year you have been a net contributor to the EU .The ecconomy of Ireland as grown over these last few years since EU membership and the begging bowl that this opportunity afforded. The total population of the state is only less than 50 % of the city of London .Over 60% of the Irish state live in the greater Dublin area, that concentration given the poor infrastructure causes massive problems, indeed have you tried getting to the city`s one and only airport Options Bus or car?. The ecconomy is heavily reliant upon the USA and if that was to go pear shaped it well it does not bare thinking about.

    Indeed please take heed of the latest ESRI 2005/2012 report which makes clear Quote”The US economy is currently on an unsustainable growth path with ever-rising deficits. If and when the US economy switches to a more sustainable path this could result in a slowdown in growth elsewhere, including in Ireland.

    Martin.

    P.S. Like comparing chalk and cheese.

  • Brian Boru

    LOL We are not dependent on EU subsidies. And we are not even a net-contributor until 2013 because of the EU budget talks last year. In any case, we are only as net-receiver of EU subsidies because of CAP payments. Agriculture is now only 4% of our economy. On the greater Dublin point, the figure is actually around 30% and is expected to decline in the coming decades. We are told by some people that we won’t be able to afford the Northern population but somehow we can afford the huge numbers coming in already. Someone is not telling the truth here. I would also point out that EU subsidies comprised at most 9.5% of Irish GNP and that was in the 80’s. It’s probably closer to 1% now. Compared that to the North which is 63% dependent on UK subsidies. I agree the latter is a problem but it is not an insurmountable one. I am sure the British taxpayer would like more value for money and less wastage on quangos and cushy state-sector jobs in the North. Ultimately, a combination of continued rapid growth in the South, and British-initiated reform of the Northern economy (along the lines of the Thather years in mainland UK) would eliminate the problems of paying for NI in imho.

    You are entitled to your point of view martin, and there are even some people down here – especially in Blueshirt circles – that would share your analysis. I hope I can be forgiven though for seeing parallels between the old “the Irish cannot run their own affairs” mantra and the new “the Irish couldn’t afford a United Ireland” one. They both originated from the securocrats in the Establishment and the Tory party, (the latter is now saying the Brits need to learn from the Irish economy i.e. George Osborne- so one mantra has died. Hopefully the latter will eventually too), and are sometimes parrotted by their lackies in Ireland. But that doesn’t mean this analysis is shared by a majority of patriotic Irishmen and women, who are conscious of the sacrifices of their ancestors and cognaissant of the injustices of 1920.

  • ingrammartin

    Brian Boru,

    We shall agree to disagree but my belief is the South do not want the North at a price.

    Martin.

  • lib2016

    The British don’t need to re-occupy the West and South – they need only use the forces they already have in the new Pale which those obliging people in the UDA introduced in Counties Down and Antrim, with the enthusiastic approval of the DUP politicans who saw it as a way to give themselves rock solid majorities.

    Financially it should be easy enough to make the border areas part of the Republic’s economy over a period of say five years – Newry and parts of South Armagh are on the fringes of commuter territory as things stand now.

    The Northern middleclass is already disillusioned with politics and if there’s any real chance of being cut off from the gravy train they won’t have any regrets about throwing out the DUP/loyalist idiots who speak for them now. How long did Orange rule run in Portadown once it started costing the local businesses big money?

    Even towns well inside the ‘Homeland’ like Larne are finding that there’s a cost to being uber-unionist and are attempting to free themselves from loyalist protection rackets.

    This is not 1912, nor even 1974. If unionists want to create an impoverished ghetto for themselves they should be able to manage here and there but that’s about all.

  • missfitz

    Brian
    Talk a little more about the injustices of 1920. I dont see that can be argued, except from an extreme republican point of view. It really interests me to learn how people now perceive an injustice was done, and who could have prevented it. Or indeed, more to the point, who exactly was against this injustice at the time.

  • pol

    Time to face down Dr No and the mine-me’s.

    There is only one show in town and that’s the GFA, and the DUP have sworn to smash.
    So it doesnt matter if the IRA goes away, it doesnt matter if Sinn Fein jump through all the hoops that the Dup,s put in there way, they wont play ball unless it is on there terms and that is back to the bad old days, something we cant let happen for our children’s sake.
    They therefore must be confronted with the reality. If you don’t move then you will be pushed.

    One other point.
    If it comes down to threat’s from the loyalist drug dealers then the British need to grow a set of b—s and face them down for the first time in there history.

  • Brian Boru

    Missfitz, by injustices of 1920 I am referring to partition – especially the inclusion of Fermanagh and Tyrone in the Northern statelet – in spite of being majority Catholic. The Home Rulers and then the Republicans called for a referendum in the Six Counties to determine which counties wanted to be part of the North or South. The Unionists said no because they knew they would lose those 2 counties. The fact that all the counties given to the South were majority Nationalist but only 4 of the 6 given to NI were majority Unionist is surely an injustice.

  • ingrammartin

    Pol,

    It will not be the Drug dealers you are dealing with this time but the organ grinders. Do not underestimate the power of Loyalism , it is a very powerful meduim much more powerful than Republicanism.They have never had to play their cards and I hope they never do but trust me it will not be the ten pound dealers you have to worry about.It will be the thirty year career soldier or the Police chief inspector.

    I want to see a United Ireland, but I am a realist and I believe the only way forward is slowly and in tunewith the GFA.Republicans have caused immense damage to the communities these last thirty years and it will take time and patience .

    Martin.

  • missfitz

    Brian
    I dont think a 4-county Ulster was ever considered. Certainly the nine county Ulster could have been on the cards, but the 44% of catholics was considered unmanageable compared to the 34% in the six.

    And remember, Sinn Fein abstentionism at the time was instrumental in the GOI act going through parliament.

    I have come to see partition as an inevitable action, and while there were hurts on both sides as a result, all out civil war in the 32 counties would have been the only alternative. None of us can say whether this would have solved the issue for once and for all, perhaps not and at too great a cost.

    Partition was not an solvable issue for anyone at the time, the issues for the treaty and anti treaty parties were around the oath and the ports.
    I dont know about a referendum of choice either, are you thinking of the boundary commission?

  • pol

    martin

    (They have never had to play their cards and I hope they never do but trust me it will not be the ten pound dealers you have to worry about.It will be the thirty year career soldier or the Police chief inspector.)

    You telling me these people have been sleeping for the last thirty years.

    Doesnt mater who or where they come from, it is still the same old threat that has been used in the past to stifle change.
    If it does raise it’s ugly head then it must be confronted and not rewarded as has happened in the past.

    (Republicans have caused immense damage to the communities)

    Our selves alone.

  • lib2016

    ingrammartin,

    The point is that the GFA still hasn’t been implemented, slowly or otherwise. Anybody thinking that the Northern Nats (and I include the SDLP) will wait forever is deluding themselves.

    We’ve had collusion from the career soldiers and police for thirty years, indeed some of us would blame that fact for the mess we’re in.

    Unionism itself has changed beyond recognition. Once upon a time they thought they were the organ grinder where now they are seen as an embarrassing relic from the past.

    The world’s a very different place today with the army being phased out and the police in the process of being tamed.

    The organ grinders have tired of the unionist monkey.

  • ingrammartin

    Pol,

    Quote”You telling me these people have been sleeping for the last thirty years.

    Yes, they were controlled by the RUC.

    Different side would take the pitch this time around. The last game the Brits controlled the game plan through the RUC/UDR . In the event of a move towards UI, different rules and a different team would take the fight to the enemies of Loyalism .Of that I am 100% certain.

    Martin

  • Brian Boru

    “Brian
    I dont think a 4-county Ulster was ever considered.”

    Why not? While opposed to partition, I think a 4-county state would have been far more stable and peaceful. Don’t you think?

    “And remember, Sinn Fein abstentionism at the time was instrumental in the GOI act going through parliament.”

    I doubt that. Remember that the Tories and the Liberals were in Coalition at the time and the British had jailed 58 of the 73 newly elected SF MPs. So the Brits weren’t exactly behaving like they were willing to listen.

  • heck

    Martin Ingram is making the point I have made many times on this site. In the event of the situation he describes arising whom should the people of areas like Short Strand, the New Lodge, and Ardoyne, look to for security?

    He points out that the “thirty year career soldier or the Police chief inspector” are potential sectarian kills. (Remember that when loyalists vent their anger it is not against state armed forces. They do it by killing innocent Catholics). These people have always been “the organ grinders” (to use Ingram’s phrase) to the UDA/UVF monkeys.

    He says “I do not believe the Security forces i.e. THE PSNI COULD BE TRUSTED TO MAINTAIN CONTROL OVER THE DOGS OF WAR” Well neither do I!! He also points out that loyalist areas are awash with legally held firearms.

    This is why, in my opinion, that the IRA should never have disarmed and why, again in my opinion, that the PSNI should not be supported until THEY have demonstrated to the nationalist community that they can be trusted.

    It is also why, in my opinion, that any JA arrangement should involve the garrisoning of Irish troops in northern Ireland.

    Come on guys—I’ve asked the question may times before and never had an honest answer-in the event of the situation Martin Ingram describes arising whom should the people of areas like Short Strand, the New Lodge, and Ardoyne, look to for security?

  • qubol

    In the event of a move towards UI, different rules and a different team would take the fight to the enemies of Loyalism .Of that I am 100% certain.-ingrammartin

    there is little logic to your arguement. The IRA managed to execute their campaign with the help of their community. They got this help because of the everyday, real injustices that they had to live with. Plus big episodes like Bloody Sunday, Hunger Strikes etc that galvanised support for the IRA.
    To draw the conclusion that loyalists are really capable of mounting a similar challenge is fantasy. No doubt they are dangerous and well armed but crucially the support and numbers just aren’t there. Loyalism simply doesnt have the will or support to mount a serious long term challenge. Sure even when they get upset about some ‘terrible’ injustice like not being able to march down the springfield road they give up rioting when the rain starts – that’s commitment. Ur also making claims about some sort of shadow army of highly trained exUDR, RUC men ready to take up their legally held arms agains irish intervention. Its not gonna happen because Irish government intervention is established and accepted – not only that things are just too comfortable for many of these people to even give a shit.

  • mickhall

    I think any talk of a unionist military blow-back post GFA is wind and pi–. Indeed I feel within time the opposite will occur and the DUP will enter an assembly administration alongside SF. Like the shinners before them the DUP have missed there main chance. The DUP had an opportunity to dictate there terms [within reason]

    If both of these party’s refuse to get together the north will jog along with its democratic deficit, with the UK gradually putting on the brakes on incoming finance, until it begins to hurt all sections of the norths societies.

    If the unionists were to go to war against the UK state or even the ROI who would finance them, the shinners had a bolt hole in the south and a money pot in the US, both of which are non starters for the unionists and few in the rest of the UK would chip in a single penny to finance a new loyalist war, beyond the odd looney millionaire or BNP member. SA is out and the Israelis will not risk upsetting the US or the Brits. The British monarchy acting on its governments instructions would withdraw all support to those unionists engaged in terrorism without UK state collusion, thus removing for many unionists their sheet anchor.

    ‘mi’ talks about thousands of unionist officers and NCOs in the British army and police joining a new terrorist war, these people have families, what happens when their salaries or their pensions are stopped or they are disqualified from drawing them. What is the percentage of people in the north who owe their living to the British state [civil servants, PSNI, security industry private and public, dole and sickness and disabled benefits, OAP, government financed schemes, businesses which exist on State grants and contracts etc, etc. Middle class people just do not go in for insurrection or revolution these days, [beyond waving CIA financed national flags for a couple of days in the main sq of places like Beirut or Ukraine], especially when they are already on above average wages and pensions. No we are safe in our beds for a few more years and Bertie knows it.

  • smcgiff

    There’s undoubtedly some justification for some of Martin’s beliefs, however he lets himself down badly with very poor statistics. The more dramatic claims are simply false (unfortunately they are too many to comment on specifically).

    Qubol and michall have laid out reasons why his concerns are not as worrisome as he has made out.

    There is a limited loyalist backlash available. They’ve shown they are capable of killing unarmed civilians in the past and could certainly do so in the future.

    But, there has been limited de facto joint authority for several years now and no one has jumped up and down. Frankly, I’m shocked by the lack of rage shown by certain hard-line unionists. Where’s the DUP when you need them? I’m one nationalist that would be opposed to plan B. Plan B means JA, and JA means a UI would never come about.

    If ever a majority in NI voted for a UI then there would be some loyalist violence, especially in Dublin. This violence would come about if for no other reason than for loyalist warlords to show those who they intimidate amongst their own community that there is a reason for their existence. It would, within a fairly short period of time, be put down by state forces. NI would not transition into the Republic overnight even if there was a vote for a UI.

  • missfitz

    Mcgiff
    Is it not time we all looked deep inside our hearts and take stock of what our holy grail should be?

    If a UI isnt to the liking of the majority, why not find a suitable workable alternative? This other idea of canvassing opinion every couple of years to see if we pass the point of consent is a waste of valuable time and space.

    The day of 51% is not going to bring about some earth shattering solution. I think we should find a lasting accomodation and leave talk of a UI to the fairy books where it belongs

  • loyalist

    What a load of crap. You sound like UDA think-tanks circa 1983, a UI isn’t happening for political and demographic reasons, wise the bap.

  • mickhall

    This debate has highlighted one of the main flaw within the GFA, the DUP obviously believes that if they do nothing and continue to refuse to enter into an administration with SF, the worst thing that can happen is the six counties will continue to be governed by London. Thus the gravy train will continue and there elected officials can carry on as mockney politicos drawing their wedge without an ounce of political responsibility as to how the north is governed, [let the Brits carry that weight]. That anyone would vote for a party which is offered power to honour its electoral promises but refuses it, preferring to spend its time posing in front of the TV cameras.

    What the Blair government must do is point out the status quo is no longer an option. They should start by withdrawing the salaries of those MLAs whose parties refuse to enter into an administration with the political representatives of their neighbours.[unless they wish to enter the assembly as an opposition]

    Regards.

  • smcgiff

    The biggest problem with your argument, Fitz, is that it makes sense. What’s that got to do with anything? 😉

    Everyone, bar unionists in NI, feel (yes I know it’s only anecdotal) that the best for the people of NI, including unionists, in the long run is for the 6 counties to be part of the ROI AND for that Republic and the UK to realise they can achieve a lot as partners on the global and, particularly, the EU stage.