oh, thank you, secretary of state…

Back to the navel, then.. According to the BBC, Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland Peter Hain is expected to deign to allow his assembly to hold a debate on Friday, no detail on the topic though, and it’s probably the final day of this assembly run? Meanwhile there are repeated noises off from various parties, and the Irish News reports[subs req] that Sinn Féin have suggested the creation of sub-committees to Hain’s Committee which, I’d suggest, would also be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.. unless someone leaks a transcript to the BBC.. Interestingly the Irish News report also suggests “It is possible that the secretary of state, if there is no consensus on the sub-committees idea, will order that they be set up.” Well, no-one expects him to be consistent, do they? Update According to the Belfast Telegraph, “The issue for debate will be the progress, or lack of it, of the Preparation for Government Committee.”.. *shakes head*

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  • Greenflag

    ‘ Sinn Féin have suggested the creation of sub-committees to Hain’s Committee ‘

    So now all NI needs is for the DUP to suggest subcomittees to the SF subcommittes to Hain’s committee and the circle of idiocy will be complete ?
    The simple fact of life which many Irish Nationalists and Republicans
    do not want to accept , is that Paisley does not want SF in NI Government ever . He has never spoken directly to SF’s NI leadership despite the fact they have been elected.

    Irish Nationalists and Republicans North and South should have nothing to do with the DUP and instead push for a fair Repartition of the 6 counties as the only method of restoring efective democracy to Northern Irish people .

  • seabhac siulach

    “push for a fair Repartition of the 6 counties ”

    So, along what line would the border of this new repartitioned 6 counties run? There can be no fair partition of the 6 counties, e.g., what would one do with the approx. 50% of Belfast’s population that are nationalists/republican or the nationalist areas of Antrim, Down, etc. Are we suggesting a forced large scale movement of people? Short of that, repartition will not work, as it will merely create new minorities trapped in a state to which they owe no allegiance.
    Partition was tried once to create an artificial statelet/reserve for Unionists. It failed then and it would fail now.

    Power-sharing and/or improved cross-border links are the only ways to go…
    Slow incremental cross border links will over a reasonably short length of time create an organic unity North and South, making the border more and more irrelevant, and so producing a de-facto unity that I think we could all live with…

  • Greenflag

    ‘along what line would the border of this new repartitioned 6 counties run?’

    A 2 county sized State roughly east of the River Bann . A neutral international agency would have to draw the ‘line’ . Belfast would become a ‘divided’ city (nothing new there)with West Belfast being included in the enlarged Irish Republic and East Belfast being part of the new Unionists State .

    ‘Are we suggesting a forced large scale movement of people? ‘

    No . A fair Repartition based on the census results for the District Council areas would result in approx 100,000 Irish people being ‘marooned’ in a new Unionist State and approx 100,000 British Unionists being ‘marooned’ in a 30 county sized Irish Republic .

    ‘it will merely create new minorities trapped in a state to which they owe no allegiance. ‘

    Not quite . It will only create a new minority of British Unionists in the Irish Republic who would make up approx 2% of the total population . The Irish minority in the 2 county Unionist State would not be a ‘new’ minority . They are already a ‘minority’.

    ‘Partition was tried once to create an artificial statelet/reserve for Unionists. It failed then.

    The first Partition failed because it included too large a minority of Irish within the 6 county State . Presumably the present generation of DUP politicians will not want to repeat that particular error .

    ‘Power-sharing and/or improved cross-border links are the only ways to go’

    We can have improved cross border links across any ‘new’ border without having to fart around with this ‘power sharing’ nonsense . Power sharing in the absence of true fiscal and political independence is just sectarian musical chairs . Power sharing being ‘imposed’ by the former colonial power is an expensive time wasting palliative for Irish Nationalists while it reenforces sectarian divisions for both Unionists and Nationalists within NI. Which presumably suits HMG fine .

    The de facto removal of British military barracks to a line east of the Bann mentioned in an earlier post is IMO a strong indication that the ‘ Repartition ‘ scenario is still a ‘hand’ that can yet come into play .

  • Rory

    Repartition? Belfast the new Berlin! With appropriate airdrop relief from Dublin, no doubt. And what will the minority population of the new NI do? Why move, of course, either to West Belfast or West or South into the new Republic. Can you imagine the fate in store for the nationalists of, say, Ballymena and Lisburn in this new entity given the misery they must endure at present?

    And if all catholics do flee this new area – what then? How will loyalism survive with no catholics to push around and blame every ill upon?

    What shall we name this project anyway? ‘The Final Solution’ perhaps?

  • Greenflag

    ‘Belfast the new Berlin!’

    Exactly . In the new Berlin people are free to travel where they want and go where they want unencumbered by the old political division between West and East and the wall that separated them . There are however major differences . The Berlin wall is gone . Belfast’s walls continue to grow in number .

    Berlin’s wall was built by the East German Communist Government under the direction of their Soviet ‘imperialist’ rulers . Belfast’s 37 or so ‘peace ‘ walls have been built with the support of the people living behind them . Apparently the people living behind these walls see them as being necessary for their security against the ‘others’.

    ‘ And what will the minority population of the new NI do? ‘

    What they do now . Go to work , school ,pay their taxes, vote when they have to, just the same as the majority Unionist community in a new NI and no diferent from the new British Unionist community in an enlarged Republic .

    ‘Can you imagine the fate in store for the nationalists of, say, Ballymena and Lisburn in this new entity given the misery they must endure at present? ‘

    This present ‘misery’ you mention has not apparently resulted in a mass flight of nationalists from either town . In fact according to the NI census the nationalist percentage of population in both towns has increased over the past 20 years, unlike the unionist percentages in towns such as Newry or Derry which have dramatically declined.

    ‘ How will loyalism survive with no catholics to push around and blame every ill upon? ‘

    As I’m not interested in loyalism surviving I don’t care . Their business . I believe as Irish people we should be more concerned with the economic , social, and political well being of the Irish people in Northern Ireland . Let Paisley and his ilk or HMG look after the ‘loyalists ‘. We Irish do not need a large minority of disgruntled , alienated , British unionists in our Republic . We would be making the same mistake that Carson made in 1920 when the 6 county State was created .

    What shall we name this project anyway?

    Operation ‘common sense’. If the politicians in an area as small as NI where the population is almost evenly divided by nationality, history, politcs, religion, constitutional preference , kerb stones , peace walls, schools , churches , hospitals , grocery stores , solicitors practices etc cannot agree, then it’s time to look for another solution. There has been no change to the basic political division in NI in the past 86 years. NI politicians’s have been running around in circles for the past 40 years as various British Government try to foist a never ending succession of political solutions onto a population that simply cannot or won’t elect the kind of politicians, that could make these solutions work . Sorry Rory, NI is ‘politically’ broke, a busted flush .NI as a 6 county state does not have the degree of communal trust that is needed to bring about an internal 6 county solution . I doubt if there is a’democracy’ anywhere else on the planet where the political leaders of the two main parties have never spoken directly to each other for over 40 years ? Not just weird but bizarre . Not funny ha ha more like funny ‘peculiar!

    A fair Repartition of NI can work and a 30 county or Irish Republic can be just as successful if not more so than a 26 county Republic . As I said the Republic does not need ‘Unionists’ nor do they need us . I’m sure HMG will continue to provide the economic support that will be necessary in a 2 county sized new NI and thus stave off the prospect of the citzen’s of Paisley’s Calvinist Theocracy having to devour each other.