“We’re doomed, I say. Doomed.” with an Ulster accent

Ulster Unionist MLA Sam Gardiner thinks the present situation is as serious as 1912. He believes that without a legislative assembly Northern Ireland will effectively cease to exist. He also claims that the Plan B will be announced in September not November and expects it to lead to the likes of an All-Ireland health service.Update: Dermot Nesbitt isn’t happy either.

  • John

    An All-Ireland health service is common sense. Shared resources would mean huge savings in the border counties for both North and South. The same could be exploited for council services, education and even policing.

  • eranu

    greatest threat since 1912 !!! call me cynical but i think sam is just coming off with the usual things to play on peoples fears and get his name in the paper (or web) ???
    he says that the new councils will have little real power but then says the nationist ones will begin integrating into the republic. presumabley by having our bins collected on the same day on both sides of the border! 🙂

  • joeCanuck

    I think this gentleman’s analysis is spot on.
    If the DUP continue to refuse to play ball, come Nov24, not only will the ball be taken away, the stadium will be locked and the keys thrown away for a generation.

  • Stephen Copeland

    And the worst threat he can think of is an all-Ireland health service?

    Is that what unionism has come to? Protecting us from the evils of cooperation and rationalisation in service provision?

    What other horrors await us, I wonder.

  • Fanny

    A shared mobile phone network or two would take the pressure off people north and south living in border areas. Just one more plus.

  • Daithi

    Well having experienced the joys of the southern Irish health service first-hand, this is one aspect of N/S co-operation everyone in Northern Ireland would be advised to steer well clear of!

    Basically, if you don’t have the dosh to stump up for expensive Private Medical Insurance schemes like VHI and BUPA you’re consigned to a second-world standard of healthcare.

    The Republic’s two-tier health system is an absolute disgrace – still stuck in the 1970s when the rest of the country has moved on. Northern Ireland’s NHS is streets ahead in every respect.

  • Fraggle

    Daithi, the cost of health insurance from VHI or Bupa is not much different from the National Insurance everyone is forced to pay in the north.

  • eranu

    stephen, an all ireland service of whatever type isnt cooperation its just an example of something of northern ireland being taken off us and run by the south or southerners. this is a loss for NI in terms of running our own country. thats why there is opposition to all the useless all ireland ideas that nationalists come off with.
    cooperation in health would be both the ni nhs and the southern health service working together where its useful. as far as i know they already do a bit in things like emergency ambulance cover etc. this is sense. but at the end of the day there is only going to be a few things that are useful to work together in. the rest of the work the 2 services are responsible for in their respective countries.
    i wish nationalists had something else to say other than sticking ‘all ireland’ infront of anything they can think of !

  • joeCanuck

    Daithi

    I have a couple of N.I. relatives who suffered fractures in N.W. Donegal. They were pleased enough to stop at Letterkenny hospital rather than endure the longer ride to Altnagalvin and they were quite pleased with the level of service.

  • seabhac siulach

    It can’t be a coincidence that both of these ‘prophets’ are from the UUP…

    It is clearly in their political interest to talk up the danger (for Unionists) post Nov. 24th as in this way they can hope to damage the DUP…as in this from Mr. Gardiner:

    “The truth is the DUP have made a mess of it and have led us into the most dangerous situation our people have faced in nearly a century. I am certain Sir James Craig and Sir Edward Carson would be turning in their graves.”

    Strange talk of ‘our people’…what people would those be? Some racially pure bunch of Ulster-Scot volk, I mean, folk…
    Our we not all Irish, irrespective of political affiliation?

    Then again, maybe it is a sign that mainstream Unionism is starting to get the willies re Nov 24th. The question then is: if the two govts. impose a de-facto all-Ireland solution, what will be Unionism’s likely response?
    Another impotent ‘Ulster says no’ type of campaign, more Ulster resistance shenanigans (incl. importing weapons from S. Africa…), etc.
    Should be, eh, interesting…

  • seabhac siulach

    “Our we not all Irish, irrespective of political affiliation?”

    That should of course be ‘Are we not all…,etc.’

    Jesus, I should lay off the drink…

  • Carson’s Cat

    “he says that the new councils will have little real power but then says the nationist ones will begin integrating into the republic.”

    An interesting point: and to quote the article:

    “These new super councils will have little real power”

    Yet,

    “Half of them will be nationalist and will begin close integrationist moves with their counterparts immediately across the border.”

    Well if they are only controlling meaningless things then they can only integrate meaningless things. If you’re going to scaremonger people Sam then at least dont contradict yourself within the one paragraph.

    “The real danger is from the integration of the two government machines, not from the cross-border bodies.”

    I thought the real danger came from the Councils integrating. Which is it? And, of course, the Government cannot implement Joint Authority, they were forced to admit that when the UUP attempted to whip up some fear about it back when the deadline was first announced.

    This is a fairly poor attempt at scaremongering from Sam – and if you’re going to find someone to whip up fear, the UUP shouldnt choose a comedy character.

    Are we going to hear Sam and the UUP being accused of whipping up tensions and influencing people to take up violence because of their doomsday predictions? Were the DUP to state something a lot milder than this then there would be condemnations coming from all quarters and tales of how young people would be led into unsavoury activities because of this man.

    Are we going to hear young men in a few years time tell us that they “wish they’d never heard of that man Gardiner”?

  • Stephen Copeland

    eranu,

    Firstly: … sticking ‘all ireland’ infront of anything … – that was Sam Gardiner that did that. Don’t complain to anyone else!

    Secondly: … an all ireland service of whatever type isnt cooperation its just an example of something of northern ireland being taken off us and run by the south or southerners. – that is very presumptive. Do you not think that it might equally be run by northerners? Or by a combination of people from all corners of the country? And anyway, since Gardiner is the only person (AFAIK) who has flown this particular kite, how do you know what is actually being proposed. It could amount to nothing apart from unionist paranoia, or it could be your version of ‘cooperation in health would be both the ni nhs and the southern health service working together where its useful.

    Either way, there is nothing whatsoever to be lost by increased cooperation. If it gives us all better services at a lower cost, what could your objection be? A small island does not need duplication of services, and so if we can have just one centre of excellence per area of medicine, then we would all have more money left over to improve basic health-case. Anyone who argues against such an approach is doing so for ideological reasons, rather that for health-improvement reasons.

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    This North south co-operation thing always fascinates me and the horror some unionist commentators have about it. Are there not some areas where this makes total sense which would be acceptable to unionists? An example that springs to mind is an all-ireland approach to epidemiology especially in relation to Ag diseases such as foot and mouth? Perhaps leading to a common agricultural policy?

    The Health issue is a complicated one and as stated the south could learn a bit from the NHS but certainly when it comes to emergency services it should make sense for the border counties?

    Interestingly, If tested it would then emerge whether this sort of co-operation would lead to a united Ireland or reduce the need for one…

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    Damn, scooped by Stephen.

  • Concerned Patient

    Huge savings on shared resources north and south?

    Surely those savings could only come from cutting the overall number of beds and staff now available on both sides of the border and pooling what remains.

    Have I missed somehting? Are waiting lists to short in the border counties?

    Are journey times to hospitals a bit less than we would really like in places like Tyrone, Down and Armagh?

    Lets not loose sight of how scarece resources really are.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Its just dawned on me how ridiculous some of his comments were (even more than just the obvious ones).

    “There will, for example, probably be an all-Island Health service.”

    Not increased integration of health services, not even harmonisation, but a full, all singing, all dancing, all island health service.

    Now how exactly would that work Sam? They’re two different systems. I have a fairly basic knowlege of the ‘black south’s’ healthcare system having always had the benefit of the NHS, but while it might be possible to ferry some people to a hospital on the other side of the border, or to use cancer services etc – how exactly is RoI going to integrate itself fully into the NHS, or how exactly does NI opt out of the NHS?

    Its not only bulls*it (as M McGuiness might call it) but its not even believable bullsh*t.

  • pith

    a. “Stormont is the brand identity of Northern Ireland. It is the recognisable international image of Northern Ireland,” Sam says in his statement, though I doubt he wrote it. And good for him if he didn’t. What a load of late 90s toe-curling nonsense-speak.

    b. Any health service would be a start.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Concerned Patient,

    As a practical example, if you look at the vaguely north-western part of the country, around Tyrone, Fermanagh, Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan , etc. On neither side of the border, if that side is looked at in isolation, would the case for specialised services be justified. There aren’t enough patients suffering from disease X to justify either the equipment or the consultants. Hence on both sides people are forced into long treks to Derry, Belfast, Galway or Dublin. But if the area was looked at as a single region, it may be prove to be economically viable to provide more types oof services, some maybe in Enniskillen, others in Sligo, and the patients would go to that local place of treatment.

    The same may be true in the Derry/Letterkenny area, or Monaghan/Armagh, or Newry/Dundalk. There is no political reason to reject it, nor medical nor humanitarian. The only possible reason to fight against improvements in service provision is ideology. And anyone who fights against improved health provision for ideological reasons deserves to be kicked out of office by any right-thinking voter.

  • eranu

    stephen, regarding ‘all ireland’ , you’d have to admit that you do hear alot of all ireland this that and the other calls from nationalists. with no explanation why it would be better. just saying that it would be better isnt a reason..

    for better services and lower costs, would you be for integrating the souths health service into the UKs NHS (if it were possible) ? if thats what the argument is about then why have a separate service on part of the smaller island?? 🙂

    as we all know, all these calls for all ireland whatevers are mostly about trying to erode NI and very little about mutual benefit. common sense cooperation is supported by everyone, unionist or otherwise. its just when nationalists try to push it beyond whats sensible that people object.

  • Stephen Copeland

    eranu,

    … its just when nationalists try to push it beyond whats sensible that people object.

    Actually, nationalists are ‘people’ too. And they don’t object to integration beyond what is ‘sensible’ (who decides what is ‘sensible’ anyhow?)

    … would you be for integrating the souths health service into the UKs NHS (if it were possible) ?

    I don’t think it is beyond the capacities of our various Health Departments to devise a system of compensating credits, paid at Departmental level. It may be that one side of the border makes a profit from the other as a result of the flow of patients (as already happens in other European systems – I presume you are aware of the health tourists who look for treatment in Europe to get away from the crapness and delays of Britain’s NHS?)

    Nothing need actually change in terms of the administration, etc. Simply we would have a situation where investment and resource allocation would take into account both sides of the border, and the two ministers (southern and NIO) would agree which services to allocate to which hospital, trying as far as possible to improve efficiency.

  • Concerned Patient

    In reply to Stephen Copeland.

    One minute we were talking “huge saving”, when that is questioned the argument switches to cross border co-operation as a means of securing extra resources on the basis of population regions.

    I suspect we will get the former. As things stand patients can be sent south for operations where there are shorter lists, and I presume it works vice versa, as parr of an internal market. Surely that is pretty satisfactory.

  • John East Belfast

    We can have whatever All Ireland you likeso long as it is mutually beneficial – the key is that the relevant tax payers are recompensed.

    It only becomes “Joint Authority” when people start using each others for free – that is something that cannot happen.

    If the NI NHS want to do a certain type of operation in Dublin so be it and I am sure the relevant Invoice will flow accordingly. and visa versa of course.

    I have no problem with maximising resource allocation where geography both dictates and allows it so long as the fiscal boundaries are respected.

    All this talk about Joint Authority is unpractical.

    We have a different legal framework, different currency, different mometary system and Interest rate and different tax rates.
    On a micro level there are totally different IT systems which in the NHS is a major issue in itself.

    Basically the more I think about it so called Joint Authority is really about a national government talking shop where northern nationalists feel they need some kind of security blanket in Dublin to speak on their behalf because they are incapable or unwilling to do so on their own.

    Real power will always reside with who holds the purse springs – which will be Westminster.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Concerned Patient,

    I never suggested that there would be ‘huge savings’. In fact what I said, in my 12:30 PM post, was: If it gives us all better services at a lower cost, what could your objection be? A small island does not need duplication of services, and so if we can have just one centre of excellence per area of medicine, then we would all have more money left over to improve basic health-care.

    I would, of course, prefer that there was more money spent on health, but not wasted. Duplication can be wasteful, and artificial divisions of the region can lead to worse provision for everyone. A single integrated approach offers the best possibility for the money to go further, and for everyone to have services closer to home. It is a win-win situation for everyone, and I fail to understand Mr Gardiner’s possible objection.

  • Stephen Copeland

    John East Belfast,

    You were going great up to this point: ‘ … because they are incapable or unwilling to do so on their own.

    You know very well that nationalists are willing but are, in the absence of the DUP, incapable. Trying to put the blame for the sclerosis on the nationalists is a bit disingenuous.

  • Nathan

    Here we go again. The same old ‘serious as 1912’ alarmism that we heard in the 1990s, when it was forced to strike a deal with nationalism.

    Sam Gardiner needs to stop pandering to the worst political fears of his constituents.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Tony Blair has failed to achieve anything positive on the International stage during his time as PM if he can at least see a settlement in NI then he can look back to some positve place in history. If it is denied to him then I think he will seek to ‘punish’ those who took even that away from him – SF or the DUP take your pick – someone will pay the price.

  • TAFKABO

    I would have thought that Sam would have the wit to realise that if the rest of the UK is sending paitents to germany for operations, a Little co-operation with our Irish neighbour is hardly that big of a deal. Unionist , if they had any sense, would be the ones being proactive in all Ireland instituions. Not only does it makes sound sense for al concerned, but it would allow things to develop on their terms.
    All Ireland, or more precisley, all EU, institutions are the future. Time to face up to that fact.

  • Gardiner’s piece is a classic example of the sheer second rate nature of the UUP rump.

    It’s usually a good idea not to go around doing your Private Frazer impression, particularly when your argument is close to gibberish. How I wish old Enoch was still around to demolish it in style. Take, for example, Gardiner’s reference to Stormont being the defining “brand identity” of NI. What is that supposed to mean? Is Northern Ireland somehow a lesser entity in the absence of a subordinate legislative body to Westminster? If it really is just a “loose collection of local council areas on the very edge of the UK”, surely the same could be said for Scotland between 1707 and 1999? Or indeed Cumbria and Northumberland now?

    And as for the desire of unionism’s founding fathers, Carson told the House of Lords in 1920 that unionists would have been perfectly happy being governed by their national parliament. That’s quite a long way from saying that they saw Stormont as their “surest protection”.

    As for resumed devolution being some kind of restraint on Sinn Fein, everyone knows that in the unlikely event of a resumption, the whole thing will collapse on the first IRA bank raid. Some unionist bulwark. Alternatively, if Mr Gardiner believes that unionists should sustain an Executive with violently lawless coalition partners then he should say so explicitly.

    Perhaps the Cunning House typing pool might implement a quality control procedure to ensure that embarrassing rubbish doesn’t get published on the UU website

  • Concerned Patient

    It was John in the first comment of this thread who said “Shared resources would mean huge savings in the border counties for both North and South.”

    If there is “wasteful duplication” where is it occuring? What areas of health spending do you think could usefully be trimmed? Where are the surplus areas of excellence? Which hospitals or departments could most usefuly be closed?

    Lets talk speciifics, not rhetoric. A lor buzzwords which everyone will subscribe to can be introduced into this sort of debate – waste, duplicaiton and so on – but what specicially do they apply to?

  • Carson’s Cat

    Unionists dont have a problem with mutually benefitial cross-border co-operation in terms of health provision. I admit I dont know the specifics of how this all works in practice, but if someone in Letterkenny needs some specialist treatment which can either be provided in Altnagelvin or Dublin then of course let them get it in Altnagelvin – provided of course, as JEB stated that it is not paid for by the taxpayer of NI.

    However, this is clearly not what Sam Gardiner was talking about, he specifically mentions some all-Ireland fully-integrated health service. Something which is unworkable nonsense.

    We should probably leave Dermot Nesbitt telling the UDA not to be taken in by empty promises until another day. I suppose if the UUP cant do politics, they could market themselves as half-decent satire!

  • John

    Savings of money and resources can be made in many areas. One the first areas were money could be saved is in administration and management costs. Only recently we had an alamagation of health trusts here in the north to save a huge amount of money on administration and management.Soutern Health Boards or Northern Health Boards could source out administration and management functions. Support services could be shared, ie Hotel Management services and Estate Management services. Pooling of staff in specialist areas is another.Currently here in the north we denied specialist services and staff because demand is below business viable thresholds. If there was cross border demand we would receive funding for specialist areas we are currently denied. I could go all day in areas where money could be saved. All this added up is a ‘HUGE SAVING’. We cost the GB 5 Billion a year on subvention we should be looking at ways to reduce this and get back some pride in return. Let’s not let our prejudices ruin a better life for our children the way our parents denied us.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Stormont is the brand identity of Northern Ireland. It is the recognisable international image of Northern Ireland’

    Perhaps NI needs a new brand identity and international image ?. Stormont has not been a success over the past 35 years unless Mr Gardiner may believe that 26 years of suspension followed by a decade of on again off political farce represents a ‘succesfull international brand image ‘?

    Mr Gardiner is right as regards the comparison with 1912 . The political reality and sectarian demographics of the 6 county NI State in 2006 are the same as those of 9 county Ulster in 1912 . If partition was necessary to ensure a comfortable Unionist majority in 1920 then Mr Gardiner and other Unionist politicans in denial need to draw the conclusion that Carson drew at that time .

    I’m all for common sense and cooperation between NI and ROI . Anything which helps to reduce the costs of health/travel/electricity. makes life easier , and benefits people on both sides of the present border or any future border should be a no brainer in this day and age .

    Unionist politicians know and fear that cross border cooperation eventually would lead to ‘weakening’ of the Union.

    Mr Gardiner’s ‘union’ cannot survive ‘power sharing’ . The Union can only survive in a smaller more unionist NI . Sooner or later some DUP or UUP politician will make the case for the above. It’s the only political strategy they have left that has any long term political viability .

  • Greenflag

    ‘The Ulster Unionist Party is clear: we wish the same standards of democracy as apply elsewhere in the democratic world and to date this has not been demonstrated either by the words or actions of both Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern.’

    Dermott Nesbitt needs to revisit how Ulster Unionist democracy was practiced by Lord Carson in 1920, and update accordingly. He could implement the same standards now that the UUP implemented then. Surely Lord Carson is a better role model for the UUP than either Tony Blair or Bert Ahern .

    As for Bertie Ahern’s ‘honeyed’ words ? There’s a reason why Bert has won the last two elections and will win the next one. The late CJ Haughey is reputed to have said that Machiavelli could have learnt a thing or two about politics from Bertie .

  • Concerned Patient

    Well admin and management are precisely the areas you can’t amalgamate so easily when there are separate states, budgets and ministers involved.

    You tend to need more admin in those circumstances; more checks and balances are needed to ensure accountability and to ensure that neither state is getting free ride out of the other.

    Reducing admin is as attractive as motherhood and apple pie but I haven’t seen any civil service cuts as a result of the existing north/south bodies. Quite the opposite, a new layer of admin is created.

    The fact is its easier to rationalise fron line services and keep on the civil servants to count the beans and balance the books of sharing a lesser level of resources.

    As for polling specialist resources, that assumes that collectively we have too many of them as it is and we could reduce the number. Where are these surplus specialists?

    Reducing the subvention is another matter – a vote winner in the home counties no doubt but not much of a rallying cry in the border region. It takes us a long was from the idealism and concern for patients that has characterised this discussion so far.

    There are limits on cross border co-operation – and costs associated with it.

    None of this is to say that an ambulance from Alnagelvin shouldn’t be able to pick up a hear patient in Donegal, at a cost to the Irish government, or that the NHS shouldn’t buy hip operations in Dublin if that is that is the most efficient way to proceed.

    Lets not get carried away.

  • John

    “Reducing admin is as attractive as motherhood and apple pie but I haven’t seen any civil service cuts as a result of the existing north/south bodies. Quite the opposite, a new layer of admin is created.”

    With today’s computer technology, sophisticated Management Accounting systems ie Dedicated Budgets, it’s people with mamma’s apple pie drooling down their chins that prevent this. Let’s not forget we’re looking to get away from the point were over 70% of our economy is coming from the Public Sector. Hence, a large slice of our subvention expenditure!!!

  • lib2016

    I’ve posted before to the effect that parts of Irish reunification will be more like the coming together of the Benelux countries than the German experience after the sudden collapse of the Wall.

    As far as I know most unionists and a great many loyalists are well aware of that fact, and not particularly worried by it. We have the luxury of being part of a democratic process rather than picking up the pieces as the Germans had to do. It does put things in perspective to be reminded of that fact now and again.

  • Concerned Patient

    Suddenly John has come over all slash and burn on me!

    And cross border co-oepration has morphed into Irish unification. Wasn’t that Sam Gardiner’s 1912 argument in the first place?

    Mind you if its confined to the Benelux Economic UInion model then it won’t be unification as know it. The “coming together” there has still left three states with a few shared institutions and they have been working at it since 1944. Perhaps Gardiner hasn’t too much to worry about after all.

    We are now down to the dregs of this thread.

  • John

    “Suddenly John has come over all slash and burn on me! – And cross border co-opration has morphed into Irish unification.”

    Excuse me, Concerned Patient, Where in my post have I crowed about Irish Unification. What I have ‘come over all slash and burn’ about is people who say things can’t be done without trying them first and to give silly examples of cross border bodies which are overloaded with board members etc. If there is proper co-operation for example between two health boards across the border from each other, you would have one management system in place. What I’m tired of hearing is ‘it can’t be done’ without trying.

  • lib2016

    Concerned Patient,

    The future won’t be a simple replay of the past. In the context of the catastrophic breakup of Yugoslavia, the successful (and peaceful) reunification of Germany and the very possible slow emergence of an independent Scotland it should be obvious that we live in a changing world.

    Sam is still thinking in terms of the First World War when empires battled each other over a few fields. My opinion is that the Benelux model is a closer fit.

  • dantheman

    “There are limits on cross border co-operation”

    If the people in the border region want it why not. I would suggest most would be positively in favour, after all they will be most affected.

  • slug

    Theres a lot to be said for practical cooperation. I can think of several areas, for example research collaboration, more visits to Belfast of the Irish National art gallery collection, a North-South opera company. Basically for the same reason firms have joint ventures, fixed costs can be utilized more effectively. Obviously there are collaborations and cooperations in East West as well as North and South; the key thing is to use those that add value for Northern Ireland.

    Gardiner’s stuff is alarmist nonsense. We have nothing to fear.

  • Concerned Patient

    Hi Dantheman

    The argument being advanced for cross border co-operation by John is that it will save the British exchequer money and allow them to cut admin jobs. I don’t think so, I think there will be more bureaucracy not less.

    Others argue it will lead to more resources and investment, that could happen but there are no guaranteees and that doesn’t seem to be the direction of British policy.

    There are obvious limits to what you can do so long as there are two states, two budgets and so on. There are even more limits on what you can do if the aim is to save money.

    Its one of those issues that becomes an emothional catch call. Everyone likes the sound of co-operation. Lets share, lets cut waste, lets bring people together and so on but how much actual content is there to this talk? And are people really all talking about the same thing?

  • Ex UUP

    Stpehn Copeland – You know very well that nationalists are willing but are, in the absence of the DUP, incapable. Trying to put the blame for the sclerosis on the nationalists is a bit disingenuous.-
    Stepehn, unionits are the ones who have shown themselves to be up for powersharing, it has been nationalists who , by voting of SF/IRA, have chosen to put an end to powersharing
    No terrorists in government. I know catholics are in favour of murderers running the country but thank God unionists arent

  • pith

    Dermot Nesbitt isn’t happy. Oh dear! First North Korea, then Iran, and now Dermot Nesbitt. This axis of evil thing is getting too big.

  • reunification now

    Its not all bad news, if its like 1912, then well see 100,000 UVF Volunteers raised. And why doesnt the banana republic join a united kingdom, think of all the benefits the south would have. Instead of having to fly specialist hospital cases to england, it could be done in say dublin. And Anyone who argues against such an approach is doing so for ideological reasons, rather that for health-improvement reasons.

  • dantheman

    “I know catholics are in favour of murderers running the country but thank God unionists arent”

    ExUUP

    Thank God indeed

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Seawright

  • Pete Baker

    A gentle reminder to all concerned..

    Play the ball!

  • Greenflag

    Concerned patient ,

    ‘Quite the opposite, a new layer of admin is created. ‘

    Which is another reason why a devolved NI Assembly is a waste of taxpayer’s money .

  • londonderry_loyal

    Reply to the very first comment on an All-reland health service. The people living in the north would get a big culture shock having to pay for prespections!!

    It would reduce the long waiting lists in health centres, who are jammed full of un-employment people with nothing wrong with them.

    But, i dont like the fact of two countries sharing a health service!!

  • Dave

    I have read most of the comments about an “all Ireland “whatever.

    Republicans/Nationalists good and bad still don’t get (it) the unionists people in general don’t want or wish to integrate with the republic of Ireland ever. Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom and the majority of the people wish to remain so.

    An all Ireland/united Ireland/unification by the use of political sleight of hand or via the back door will not work for the unionists people, nor can they be bombed into submission.

    Many “unionists” would prefer Northern Ireland to be an Independent Country before any “all Ireland” scenario.

  • michael

    Many “unionists” would prefer Northern Ireland to be an Independent Country before any “all Ireland” scenario.

    i doubt that!

  • Greenflag

    ‘Many “unionists” would prefer Northern Ireland to be an Independent Country before any “all Ireland” scenario. ‘

    I agree Dave which is why your Unionist politicians should be pushing for a fair repartition of Northern Ireland so that Unionists could have their independence . A 2 county sized predominantly Unionist State would be larger than Luxembourg although poorer . Given the ‘hard headed’ ‘independent’ streak which Northern Ireland Unionists are famous for (or used to be ) it would only be a matter of time before such a Unionist State would surpass the achievments of both Luxemburg and the Irish Republic.
    Speed the day 🙂

  • England

    England wants rid, you have had your chance for an Assembly but the DUP have been very unreasonable. Time for greater involvement for Dublin, to prepare them for overall governance of the rest of Ulster in future.

    The groundwork for an all-ireland health service is being laid by creating large trusts, like they have in the south, and closures of smaller hospitals. It makes sense for the people of Northern Ireland to pay for their health care in future, things will only get better, because you have the longest waiting lists in the UK.

  • Dave

    Northern Ireland consists of SIX counties, my friend. Should the majority of the people who reside in Northern Ireland vote for independence, they then vote for Northern Ireland to be Independent, don’t they? On the other hand should they choose to vote for a united Ireland they would not be voting for a 30 county united Ireland would they?

  • John East Belfast

    I am not a betting man but I would put money on “England” and “Reunification now” (7.23) being the same poster ?

    same badly written style, oscillating between first and fourth person as he forgets that he is supposed to be somebody else and liberal use of a hyphen where it isnt required.

    Indeed I would hazard a good guess at the regular name this real poster goes under.

    It is sort of bringing a SF “Vote Early and Vote Often” practice to blogging.

  • English

    I can just imagine the paranoia of the general unionist population being whipped up to a frenzy (which one can see from past/current events isn’t difficult) when plan B is implemented. It is starting already, and it is not healthy for the peace process. It’s a pity that Northern Ireland cannot govern itself, but what choice does London have? London has much better things to do than govern/police Northern Ireland which is essentially foreign! The infuriating behaviour of the DUP has done nothing but encourage England to speed up the inevitable handover to Dublin by stealth.

  • John East Belfast

    I see “England” has become “English” now

    Forget the “paranoia of the unionist community” – you should be more concerned about your own schizophrenia.

    Anyhow I rest confident that the Union is safe if you are representative of what Republicanism has to offer

  • English

    John East Belfast

    Typing error, chill – I normally post as English, just a wee accident, why the aggressive response? I do not represent republicanism, I try to express what I think is best for the country of England. So far England has made some progressive moves regarding Northern Ireland governance which are to be applauded. With Tony Blair and Peter Hain you are in safe hands!

    Regards,

    English

  • John East Belfast

    You read like a drunk ventriloquist

  • irish

    I have a fair idea who english is too. And hes been caught out.

    English “A typing error”

    A typographical error, or typo, is a mistake made during the typing process. The term includes errors due to slips of the hand or finger. Typographical errors typically manifest in the form of an additional or missing character, or the switching of two characters.

    Basically English its hitting a wrong key you idiot, what really has happened is you have so many different aliases sc,pe etc you slipped up.

    Like anyway how many English people would have such first hand knowledge of NI and the Republic ??, really English, stop now before you make a bigger fool of youself, and stick to one name.

    ps, and finally “I try to express what I think is best for the country of England.”, dont want to hurt you fellings, but as you havent noticed, judging by the responses to your posts, nobody seems to care what you think :S

  • Kenny

    Dave

    Many “unionists” would prefer Northern Ireland to be an Independent Country before any “all Ireland” scenario.

    And what drugs are you on this week?

    1. Any UK govt would love to wash its hands of
    NI and its massive financial burden –
    However, they are aware of the
    international image this would create and
    therefore have to approach it gradually.

    2. Repartition is impractical and totally
    unrealistic.

    3. Independence – and given that NI is
    annually bailed out to the cost of billions by
    the UK govt – how would this be funded? You
    can’t have your cake and eat it – if you want
    to be independent then you’d have to fend for
    yourself – a novel concept for NI
    unionists.

    The thought of the “Unionist” people dictating to the UK govt is laughable. “He who pays the piper calls the tune”

  • Am I the only person to think that many Slugger contributions are endlessly repetitive mudslinging? Do people have nothing better to do? If you don’t have anything interesting to say and a valid argument to make, don’t bother because it’s dull to scroll through it all.

  • Dave

    It has been a long time since you have had the courage to make comments on this web site. I’m sure it will be to the detriment of slugger.

  • Greenflag

    Dave

    ‘Northern Ireland consists of SIX counties’,

    Full marks for the obvious .I’ve never denied it. Another obvious fact is that Ulster consists of 9 counties seven of which have Nationalist majorities and when looked at as a 9 county province -Ulster has a ‘nationalist’ majority .

    ‘Should the majority of the people who reside in Northern Ireland vote for independence they then vote for Northern Ireland to be Independent, don’t they?’

    This choice appears not to be included in the GFA . Where would the political support come from ? Alliance ? DUP ? UUP ?

    I read that each of the above parties is finding it tough to even manage their own party finances as perthe following.

    ‘The DUP, UUP and Alliance all report deficits for the year of £50,000, £450,000 and £40,000 respectively.’

    Not a good omen for independence is it?

    I believe that Unionist politicians should accept that the ‘writing’ is on the wall for the 6 county State and that those ‘politicians ‘ who are true Unionists should admit to their supporters that the only way for the Union to be maintained is for a smaller Unionist State to be carved out of the present 6 county unit.

    The Irish Republic can continue to progress as a 30 county republic just as much as with a 26 county republic .

  • Dave

    FAO Greenflag

    I think that most people do accept the writing is on the wall…Acts of Betrayal.

    Betrayal by stealth, there is not much that anyone can do about that issue other than accept the fact that they are being betrayed. It is the only way the people of Northern Ireland could possibly be defeated. The final card to be played will be a declaration of independence by the people, however that is for the people of Northern Ireland to worry about and sort.

    The people of the Republic of Ireland will be in a worst position as they will have SF/IRA to worry about. If you listen carefully you can hear then knocking at the door of the Irish government which SF/IRA deem as illegal, they see themselves as the true government of all Ireland.

    My opinion is that there will be a so called “United Ireland” unfortunately many dead cold bodies will have to be dragged of the streets of Northern Ireland first, and guess what? Nobody gives a damn about that.

    We are on our own and hear we stand. Even after forty years of being bombed, shot and terrorised by the ruthless terrorist organisation SF/IRA, we’re still standing. Just to remind you SF/IRA have now turned their eyes to Dublin and it will be very interesting to see what the people of the Republic do when SF/IRA don’t get their way, maybe that should read It will be very interesting to see what the people of the Republic do when they get in the way of SF/IRA.

    In the years that lay ahead the people of Northern Ireland will have no option other than that of Independence, time will tell.

  • dantheman

    Dave, I think your tiresome paisleyite doomsday scenario actually agrees with greenflags argument of a repartition. I have to say that not very long ago i would have shirked at the idea of it, but now i am convinced that it is the way to go.

  • lib2016

    Nationalists and others know perfectly well that the majority still backs powersharing and the GFA, which is why no-one calls for another referendum.

    Deal’s done, fists spit on and handshakes exchanged. If a nationalist majority emerges or the UK breaks up we will have reunification, otherwise unionism better start making some realistic plans about how they intend to attract voters from a Catholic ethnic background (not an very sensible way to put it, I know but we all know what I mean).

    There is an increasing anticlerical vote, not quite post-Christian though the Christian churches seem to be intent on pushing it that way, which has to be addressed.

    The fact that unionism has made no serious attempt to divorce itself from the OO confirms that there is no cross community answer from that side of the house.

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    ‘Betrayal by stealth, there is not much that anyone can do about that issue other than accept the fact that they are being betrayed.’

    This has been Unionism’s mantra since 1920 and the reason why a Stormont Parliament was demanded by the then UUP. Unionists would not trust HMG not to betray them . Now that Stormont is ‘gone’ and Unionist ‘artificial majority’ rule is history , it’s now up to Unionists to make their own future and to stop begging for crumbs from the Westminster table .

    Unfortunately within the context of the present Northern Ireland this means having to deal with or take account of the 47% of the population which is non Unionist. This appears to be beyond the political skills of the present Unionist leader.

    ‘The people of the Republic of Ireland will be in a worst position as they will have SF/IRA to worry about. If you listen carefully you can hear then knocking at the door of the Irish government which SF/IRA deem as illegal, they see themselves as the true government of all Ireland. ‘

    As long as they are a legitmate political party they can knock on as many doors as they like . But can they get the votes ? The Republic is not NI . There will be no ‘armed takeover’ of the Republic .

    ‘We are on our own and here we stand.’

    Right . Your choice . The DUP now have to live in the political cul de sac they have created for the unionist people of NI.

    ‘My opinion is that there will be a so called “United Ireland”’

    It’s a possibility . As one who does not want to see 850,000 alienated British Unionists in an all Ireland State I’d rather see the Unionist people of NI electing leaders who would demand ‘independence ‘ for that part of NI which has a strong Unionist majority namely the north east of NI . For as I see it that is in truth all that Unionist politicians can realistically offer the unionist people of NI longer term .

    But looking around at what passes for Unionist leadership I just don’t see politicians of the calibre that would have the ‘guts’ to go for independence ?

    Do you ?

    I suppose that’s what long term dependency does to any people – even the people of NI .

    But whatever the future there is no need for any more lives to be lost either side . That much I’m sure we can both agree on.