Sinn Fein’s mission impossible…

“THE announcement by Sinn Féin of a new position within the party to address the unionist question must be seen as a welcome one, and one hopefully that will bear fruit for all concerned with building peace,” wrote the Daily Ireland editor today. “[Former republican prisoner] Martina Anderson will have her work cut out, but it can only be hoped that logic will prevail and unionists will accept that this is a genuine attempt to communicate and address their concerns in an open manner.” Like Rev Brian Kennaway, Anderson believes there is common ground in the Orange commitment to civil and religious equality for all and the 1916 Proclamation’s affirmation of the same. If this interview is indicative of her strategy, it seems likely SF’s ambassador to unionism will be spending her time trying to convince unionists that they too are victims of British rule, whose selfish interests would be best served in a united Ireland.

  • Keith M

    TWGM : “Keith – you may be right about the south’s historical attitude to divorce, birth control etc, but were things any better in the north?”

    AFAIK divorce was always legal in NI since the start of the 20th Century and it certainly didn’t take two very divisive referendums to make it so.

    Birth control was also legal in NI when (for decades) it was illegal in this country. Don’t forget that when the Women’s Liberation movement made their public exhibitions of importing the pill and condoms, they did so on a train to Belfast.

    Homosexuality wass legalised in 1982 in NI, only two years after Scotland and 15 years after England and Wales, but still more than a decade before this country. Indeed had the Irish government not been hauled before the ECHR it’s arguable it would would probably have taken another decade.

    The may have been (and still are) social conservatives in NI, but the advantage of being in the UK, is that you wern’t in a country where these people made the laws.

    Lib2601, “northerners2 and “southerners” may have only been formally been divided when the IFS left the UK, but the divisions between orang-protestants-unionists and green-catholic-nationalists was there for centuries beforehand. Indeed it was this division that more of less defined politics on this island during the late 17th and all of the 18th centuries.

  • Garibaldy

    Harry,

    Derry wans? It’s been statistically proven that there’s more VD in Derry than any other part of NI. I can only assume this is is because the men involved are in such a hurry to get away from the bog(side) beasts there that they don’t put a condom on. Or it might be that they’d have to open their eyes to secure the condom, and lose the ability to perform if they actually looked too closely at what was awaiting them. So as well as not being as attractive as other women, Derry girls should come with a health warning.

  • Garibaldy

    By the way, speaking of Derry, why no thread about the attack on Rayethon? Lazy bloggers.

  • GPJ

    Keith M

    How long ago in the six counties was social housing given to single Protestants before families of catholics? How long agao when your school or surname stopped you from getting a fair interview? How long ago was the legal unionist paramilitary organisation the UDA allowed to function openly?

    You can talk about the 26 counties history of Catholic Church domination in its politics and social legislation, yet many states in Europe: Holland, Spain and Italy for example are completely transformed from their conservative catholic past.

    SF does remember the consrvative tradition of the past, however you cannot equate our vision of the future of Ireland, with this past, or vision is a democratic socialist one.

  • Just to settle this, Derry wimmin are bowsers. Holy God in Heaven, I still shudder when I think of the gargoyles that used to dot the balconies on the Richmond Centre’s stairwell lo these 20 years ago. That said, if anything, Belfawst women are even uglier, certainly fatter. But the hard faced, smoke-stinking, dark eyed, pointy nosed Maiden Cigty female? You’d be better off with a cold pot noodle.

  • Harry Flashman

    Garibaldy

    Be warned the wrath of Derry will descend upon your house, and not just your house but the house of your house’s house, yea unto generations.

    Take it from me mate, Derry people know how to hold a grudge, you’ve gone to far this time.

  • Harry Flashman

    Settle this once and for all, outside of Derry, where are the women better looking?

    [I mean in the island of Ireland]

  • Garibaldy

    Harry,

    How can I say anything but everywhere?

  • Garibaldy

    Karl,

    Or a hot pot noodle, as it seems both with leave you with a strange burning sensation in a delicate area

  • GPJ

    At this moment, Derry women / men have closed down a missle making factory.

    All Power to the People.

  • Harry Flashman

    Dear lord is there no end to this man’s impudence?

    What like Cullybackey? The Ardoyne? (believe me I saw the pictures form the Holy Cross dispute and neither side had many potential Miss Universes). Leitrim?

    Where? Where are the girls better looking? Name them.

    Ye’ve got me dander up now Garibaldy and no mistake, have you ever seen an angry Derry man with too much drink in him? It’s not a pretty sight I tell you (unlike our womenfolk who are pictures of fragrant delicacy no matter how inebriated they may be – and yes I know they can get a bit tanked up betimes).

  • Nathan

    Lib2016,

    The democrats of nationalism at the time of the 1918 election were not interested in the consent principle as a way of settling disputes. Initially, they too had a whiff of supremacy about them.

    There were no chit-chats, no negotiations with the Unionist north who ignored the underground apparatus of the Irish Republic. Instead, those democrats who took the moral high ground after the 1918 election result were misguided enough to believe that coercion alone would rub off on northern unionists. These nationalist supremacists were wrong of course, which is why they had to backtrack in 1921, when the treaty became a done deal.

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs about the treaty, Keith Mills is right to point out that various forms of partition long existed before Ireland became territorally entrenched – Wolfe Tone points to these political, cultural and denominational differences in his memoirs, even though nationalist supremacists prefer to put a cosmetic gloss on all of this.

    If a UI is to be achieved, we therefore need to care less about the form of freedom (e.g. whether it be done under a dual monarchy, something I actually find repulsive or the dual presidency alternative) and worry more about the substance of freedom (i.e. full sovereign legislative autonomy for the 32 counties).

    Nationalists need to abandon some of their own supremacies first as an incentive for unionist supremacists to do likewise – its about time you discarded the delusion that nationalists are sooooo broad-minded while unionists are big_oted ones cos its not exactly true is it?

  • Garibaldy

    Now Harry,

    Calm yourself. After all, I don’t want my ear getting bitten off, as seems to be the norm in Derry of a Saturday night. See how far the men will go to avoid having to go home to the wife/girlfriend – a night in gaol and/or hospital being preferable?

    A lot of free staters look inbred, I’ll grant you that. And not all Belfast women carry the air of metropolitan sophistication that they ought. But anybody who’s been a teenager and near Methody or Victoria at closing time knows that the delicate flowers of bourgeois south Belfast are hard to beat.

  • slug

    Harry, I think it has to be Ballymena

  • Keith M

    GJP : If would be good if you could stick to the point rather than giving us another unwanted bout of whataboutary. I’m not going to defend when happened decades ago in NI. Nobody is activly trying to persude people in this country that they would be better off under Stormont rule.

    BTW if you think that preferential treatment in jobs only happened in NI, then you know nothing about what happened here. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” used to be the mantra when I was growing up.

    I have pointed out how unionists looked at the south and how they saw their co-religeonists being all but wiped off the map. Consequently SF have a hard sell on a “united Ireland”, let alone a “socialist” one which would make this country Europe’s version of Cuba.

    When SF realise that socialism failed, when they realise and acknowledge the mistakes made in this country, when they start supporting a united Europe, the one that that has truely dragged this country out of the dark ages, then they might have something meaningful to say to unionists, but the last time I looked they were joining up with the most isolated left wing group in the European Parliament, asking for the Euro to be dropped and the Punt to be brought back and were not acknowling in any way the disaster of the Devil Era in this country. In this as in so many things they still have a long way to come to get to reality.

  • Garibaldy

    “Nationalists need to abandon some of their own supremacies first as an incentive for unionist supremacists to do likewise – its about time you discarded the delusion that nationalists are sooooo broad-minded while unionists are big_oted ones cos its not exactly true is it?”

    Nathan, that sound is the nail being hit on the head. Again, we saw this in the first interview of the new Director. It really is unhealthy, and a hindrance.

  • Garibaldy

    Keith,

    Depends which branch of PSF you listen to. There’s the PSF that wants the Euro to be accepted in the north for example. On PSF being socialist, I know you’d like to believe this, but it’s just not true. Look at their record on PFI etc and this is clear.

    On their membership of the United Left in the European Parliament, I heard this was only because the Socialist group refused to accept them. And that group is very different than it used to be. There’s no longer any ideological coherence to it, and it includes people who are essentially social democrats. Like PSF in fact.

  • Garibaldy

    Slug,

    Is that a self-portrait?

  • eranu

    ”… Free Staters feel nothing in common with you, are, in fact, profoundly embarrassed by Northern Nationalists, and, wish they would go far, far away”

    im sure theres loads. im embarrassed by northern nationalists, and im a northern unionist !! possibley the most embarrassing thing is when you hear someone speaking irish in a gutteral broad belfast accent, such as Mr G Adams. 🙂

    “Are there any “Free Staters” here who disagree with Mr. Roves statement? I only need one and there you have it, hes generalising and, well, dare i say it, talking bollocks! ”

    How the hell , ive found most people here in the south talk about ireland and northern ireland. and irish and northern irish people. northern irish people being all of the people who live in northern ireland irrespective of religon or political party support. for them ‘us’ is southerners and ‘them’ is northerners. there isnt really much interest in northerners.

  • na

    Karl,

    You’d be better off with a cold pot noodle.

    I’m sure you were.

  • Whipcrack smart response Na. No flies on you. How on earth though did you possibly pick up on that angle, other than the fact it was the f*cking point of the gag?

    Man walks into a room: ‘My dog has no nose’.
    Na: ‘How does it smell?’
    Man: ‘Dog-like’.
    Na: ‘So does your dog smell like a dog then?’

  • Keith M

    Garibaly : Depends which branch of PSF you listen to. There’s the PSF that wants the Euro to be accepted in the north for example.

    So what is the offical position? The last time I read it it was to bring back the punt. How can a credible party have such diverse opinions on such a basic issue?

    On PSF being socialist, I know you’d like to believe this, but it’s just not true.
    So why the hell to they claim to be socialist? Why do they sell Che Guevara t-shirts. Why is their stated aim to build a “32 country socialist republic”. Is their core principle a lie?

    On their membership of the United Left in the European Parliament, I heard this was only because the Socialist group refused to accept them.

    They obviously saw through the faux-socaialism. I blame the Armani suits myself.

    There’s no longer any ideological coherence to it..

    Based on what you have said about them, SF should feel right at home then.

  • Garibaldy

    Keith,

    I tend to take what the leadership of PSF says as the real position as it’s such a top down organisation. So when, for example, Adams’ press secretary tells a bunch of American businessmen that they have no problem with capitalism then I believe it. And as for them claiming as core principles policies to which they don’t live up to, I’d say that was not that unusual for a political party. PSF claim non-sectarianism as a core principle too. And Rabitte claims to be a socialist. There you go.

    On selling Che T-Shirts. Around the time of the Michael Collins film, the PSF shop on the Falls (the one with the Bobby Sands mural) had a thing of Collins on sale in the front window. They’ll sell whatever makes money, and the radical veneer is a way to attract activists and some votes in the south.

    On the European Parliament, the Socialist group as you probably know is the social democrats – people like the British and Irish Labour parties, SPD etc. It wasn’t for socialist reasons that they rejected PSF but rather because they didn’t want to be associated with them. And PSF may well feel at home in the United Left group, but that group is now an alliance for advantage within the Parliamentary system in terms of speaking time etc rather than reflecting an ideological commitment like the old Communist bloc.

    But maybe Chris or another PSF member or supporter should answer your questions rather than me.

  • Yooo hoo Rovey baby …LOL

    The Free State has spoken, the real Brits across the water have spoken. They contradict what you have wished for….. BIG TIME

    The tide is against you, whether you like it or not.
    I can just picture that fat bald head under those himmler glasses grasping for the heart-attack pills.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Northern_Ireland/Story/0,2763,540092,00.html

    http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2006/04/02/story13158.asp

    I hear steps are afoot already for economic harmonisation with the Free State having a new civil service building in Belfast.
    Good luck to the lady in question, if it can heal wounds and bring people closer together, all the better.
    Besides, the DUP class 60% of the catholic voters in the North as less than human, so she has a tough battle ahead, but remember all the persuading needed is for about 10% of Unionists or more likely the likely huge influx of foreign workers in the North when the public service jobs are slashed and the British and Irish government introduce very harmonious and business friendly measures for cross border business, the silly situation of dupilcating everything on the island will probably be phased out under this joint stewarship/authority.
    The British are getting out, they just haven’t told the unionists yet, because they’re their long lost cousins from generations ago, the mental, embarrassing bullies who act like children and scream and roar at every hands turn.
    They’ll (the DUP and their supporters) have to grow up and act like adults and actually give the ball back and play the game. Treat them like equals and human beings.

  • barnshee

    this is a joke—ot to be representative of a murder gang done-time for it—is going to embrace unionists —- my arse or rather my toe in hers if she comes anywhere near me but its a joke it has to be.

  • Munsterman

    karl-Baby

    ”… Free Staters feel nothing in common with you, are, in fact, profoundly embarrassed by Northern Nationalists, and, wish they would go far, far away..”

    Wrong – again – Karl. Yawn.

    The vast majority of people here in the Republic know all about the unionist terrorist James “the Gun-runner” Craig, the B-Specials, the Special Powers Act, the RUC, the UDR/UVF, the UDA, the unionist apartheid police-statelet that was Stormont – we all fully understand the horror for nationalists of being trapped in your Sick Counties.

    Northern nationalists are great – won’t win Sam this year though…-:).
    Karl, still with me…?

    Rev. Dr. No – now THERE’s an embarrassment for you.
    Only the unionists could elect a 17 th century fundamentalist supremacist racist as their leader – and then compound it by wondering why anyone outside their rapidly-diminishing sand-bank finds it odd – not to mention 3 centuries out of date. Apart from the KKK, Combat-18 and the BNP, that is.

    Personally, I hope Dr. No remains leader of unionism for the next 10 years – absolutely one of the best gifts unionism has presented to Irish nationalism in years.
    Bertie has run rings around him making unionism totally and utterly politically impotent.
    Thanks Karl – keep voting for Dr. No.

    Game’s up lads.

  • bertie

    “”Not surprisingly, the initial reaction of many of the usual suspects here is to take cheap shots at Martina Anderson and Sinn Fein.”

    Ah well at least the shots that are being taken aren’t from a gun. Those devices and bombs are probably much more what she is used to in terms of engaging unionists.

    But back to the much more serious job of where the talent spots in NI are. Rain and lack of sun are good for the complexion, so Fermanagh has got to have an advantage.

  • Southern Observer

    [i]Free Staters feel nothing in common with you, are, in fact, profoundly embarrassed by Northern Nationalists, and, wish they would go far, far away.[/i]
    Not so Karl.
    – from PD voting,right-of-centre ‘Free Stater’

  • Southern Observer

    Allow me to elaborate.As with an occasionally miscreant member of your family their are times when you metaphorically feel like shaking the daylights out of them.Nevertheless *they are still* part of your family.
    So too on a more tenuous metaphysical level ore ‘the other side’ in NI.

  • Southern Observer

    Declan,
    I can’t say I condone Kensei’s choice of language.Nevertheless I have to say that I find your propensity to make one point,and one point only,over and over again intensely irritating.

  • ciaran damery

    Harpo says – “I thought that unionists were/are part of this Irish nation. Are you saying that they aren’t?” No! Unionists say that they aren’t and if they want to remain British subjects in the reunified Ireland then that’s not a problem. There is room for foreigners and emigrants in Ireland…as long as they act within the law.

  • “Come on in, the water’s balmy!”

    Brought to you by the Fantasyland Tourist Board, in conjunction with Bord na Mona: it keeps you warm inside, and it smells awful.

  • Carson’s Hat

    Thank God for the UVF. It isn’t going anywhere and could, with one tactical sweep of the hand (across the Republic – economic targets), eliminate any idea of unity for decades. If this is the best the Provos can do in terms of detente…well, at least people are ready.
    How long do you think an Irish government will indulge this nationalist nonsense if loyalism resists even slightly? We’ll see. And Ulster will defend itself.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “The vast majority of people here in the Republic know all about the unionist terrorist James “the Gun-runner” Craig, the B-Specials, the Special Powers Act, the RUC, the UDR/UVF, the UDA, the unionist apartheid police-statelet that was Stormont – we all fully understand the horror for nationalists of being trapped in your Sick Counties.”

    cripes- the vast majority eh?

    Darth’s Rule Number 1-anytone citing the “vast majority” as a statistic is paranoid, incapable of mounting a reasoned argument, and would prefer it if he ( cos they’re always men- and usually student teachers) could post in green or turquoise ink

    Ignoring my own rule (priveleges of copyright)I bet “the vast majority” of people in NI don’t even know who James Craig was, or what the Special Powers Act did.

    I am prepared to bet that the “vast majority” of saddos, conspiracy freaks and internet trolls who comprise the cyber-Republican community post, blog , and e mail each other incessantly with juvenile debating points like these. Looking forward to your tribute site to Martina the Shinna stunna terrorist already

  • lib2016

    Carson’s Hat,

    “…the UVF….(could) eliminate any idea of unity for decades.”

    Thank God for one unionist who realises what unionism is all about. If you think that threats alone will work you’re crazy. If you think that loyalists are prepared to die or be locked up for twenty years so that the DUP can strut their stuff a little while longer you’re even crazier.

    darth,

    If you think that a ‘2-nation policy’ would be successful why does no political party propose it? Even the P.D.’s have to give lip-service to the idea of national unity.

    Run away back to the drugdealing, sonny. The grown-ups are talking.

  • Elvis Parker

    Cant help thinking maybe Martina wants to do this job to prove to herself that her life to date hasnt been totally wasted. As a volunteer she ‘achieved’ nothing and spent large amounts at Her Majesties pleasure.
    If one didnt try ‘engaging’ you might have to admit to yourself that there is never going to be a UI and you had in fact wasted your life

  • lib2016

    Elvis,

    One does feel that you’ve rather missed the point. Volunteers went out knowing that they faced death or twenty years in prison if they were locked up. It has to do with having an ideal rather than with achieving an victory.

    Republicans don’t look back at 200 years of failure but regard themselves as being part of a long line of patriots who have successfully kept the flame alight.

    Their success will come in all our children’s laughter.

  • Keith M

    Lib 2601 : “Republicans don’t look back at 200 years of failure but regard themselves as being part of a long line of patriots who have successfully kept the flame alight.”

    Yeah we saw how they do that in Newry on Tuesday night.

    “Their success will come in all our children’s laughter. “

    Of course, that old story about how they’ll see a “united Ireland” in their lifetime never fails to generate howls of laughter.

  • Reader

    lib2016: Volunteers went out knowing that they faced death or twenty years in prison if they were locked up. It has to do with having an ideal rather than with achieving an victory.
    Then the GFA short-circuited the twenty years in prison at the expense of an ever more elusive victory…

  • lib2016

    The GFA was a victory for both communities – that’s why the vast majority of people support it. One strand of extreme unionism is in temporary ascendency but when the UUP tried to oppose the results of the referendum it was destroyed. I don’t doubt that the same thing will happen to the DUP if they persist in opposing powersharing.

    The vagaries of the elective process may take a while to sort things out but sort things out they will. The ordinary unionist isn’t stupid and if Newry and Mourne or whatever the new nationalist areas are can deliver then unionists will want the same for themselves.

    How many unionists in Portadown want to carry on the Drumcree struggle? And how many have dropped out of the Orders?

  • Southern Observer

    What is needed ,and what probably has happened, is a sort of parity of distasteful pill imbibement -nationalists swallowing partition and unionists substantial ROI involvement.
    For those who are into dogmatic futurology please note that Irish political history tends to flow at a glacial pace – it was 120 years before any susbstantial change to the original act of union.But the unexpected can happen relatively quickly -viz at the dawn of the twentieth century the British Empire was at its zenith,Britain was no 1 world power, the process of ‘killing Home Rule by kindness’ was continuing apace, and the Irish party was still riven and enfeebled by the Parnell split.Home Rule ,let alone independence seemed a receding prospect.The rest ( the next 21 years) is history.
    My best guess is that by about 2030 Greenflag’s repartition utopia will have arrived.Alternatively the 6 co statelet could still be intact – as a virtual Anglo-Irish condominium.
    Incidentally,Keith, in another thread you used a revealing misnomer ‘separatists’ in relation to the 1919-1921 WOI operatives.’Reclaimists’ would be more accurate.