Nationalist solidarity call and negotiations update

Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd has rounded on the SDLP for having “have increasingly drifted from a nationalist agenda” because it has similar positions to the DUP on a number of national and local political issues. Meanwhile the Preparation for Government committee has been on a three day week, yesterday it looked at policing with the timing of policing power devolution and the degree and form of republican commitment the two thorny issues.

  • Dualta

    A ceasefire, decommissioning, embracing of the consent principle and now calls for the ending of sectarianism within our own community and a proper engagement with Unionists?

    It seems to me that it’s SF who are drifting towards the nationalist agenda.

  • cicles

    Maybe Dualta.
    But surely that makes life even harder for the sdlp, who already cut a bit of desparate figure trying to find a place where they can stand (and look different from those bad men with the woolly faces – oh no sorry, now its just a beard). They know themselves that they need to sharpen their image (hence the logo, the web-site, the reports on how to get the boot into the shinners etc.). I think however that it has been to their detriment to constantly oppose SF whenever they can, and that they are quite lost when it comes to the issue a united Ireland – maybe even afraid of the concept as it has a bit of a republican after taste.

    Yesterdays question of who is the past and who is the future could be posed here again – and I thi the sdlp could do worse than to clearly and voally stand on the side of a united ireland, while at the same time, clearly articulate their policies for this.

  • slug

    It’s a battle royal!

  • Keith M

    What a pathetic effort by SF/IRA. Look at the issues they have identified; policing, criminal justice, Community Restorative Justice, 28 day detention without trial, MI5 phone-taps, reform of local government and the maintenance of MLAs salaries. And in recent days senior SDLP members have joined the DUP in disgraceful attacks on the GAA.

    Exactly which of these are “nationalist” issues? Surely having a police and criminal justice system supported by all, is in everyone’s interest. On this it is SF/IRA that are out of step with everyone.

    Issues like reform of local and MLA salaries have noting “nationalist” about them.

    And as for the “disgraceful attacks” on the GAA The SDLP are saying nothing that several nationalist posters here haven’t been saying for weeks. Indeed it is the actions of SF/IRA in organising pro-terrorist rallies that has both embarrassed and split the GAA.

    I’m no fan of the SDLP, but this is beyond pathetic.

  • Glen Taisie

    Adams speech at the Sinn Fein rally in Casement was a version of Hume’s single transferable speech.

    Sinn Fein are the new SDLP

  • CS Parnell

    The people who attacked the GAA – or at best flouted its rules and told lies about it – were the Shiners.

    You can tell when they are lying because that’s when their lips move.

    Not a bullet, not an ounce???

  • circles

    Was the question not whether or not the sdlp have drifted from a nationalist agenda?
    Any takers on this one (as opposed to shinners or stoopers stepping up to the plate)?
    How do unionists see this? Do you still see the sdlp as a nationalist party with a united Ireland agenda?

  • slug

    “How do unionists see this?”

    I’m staying well clear!

  • Bushmills

    The SDLP are a party comitted to a United Ireland, of that I have no doubt, and as a Unionist I must say that I would much rather live in the SDLP’s version of a UI, than the bitter, vicious, sectarian UI that Sinn Fein want to see created.

    The Sinn Feiners who post here would probably see the fact that a Unionist like I, am more comfortable with the SDLP than them as some sort of perverted endorsement, but the truth is that Sinn Fein’s dominance of nationalism ensures that Unionists in Northern Ireland never, EVER will be persuaded that their future lies in a United Ireland.

    I like and respect many of the people in the SDLP – Pat McCarthy, Eugene McMenamin, Mark Durkan to name but a few. They do have a vision of a UI, they are a nationalist party and I would class myself as an Orangeman who would consider giving them a second preference vote (see other thread).

    Anyway all this is irrelevant because there’ll never be a United Ireland.

  • Londonderry_loyal

    If the SDLP jave drifted from their nationalist agenda, I dont think many republicans want SF talking with unionists either.

    I think the GAA issue were the SDLP were against them was the last straw for sinn fein/ira!

  • Bushmills

    Londonderry

    A-B-C

    Well done!!

  • what’s on?

    Same old sickly condescension from John O’Dowd. He forgets that it was the SDLP who practically wrote the GFA.

    JOD needs to be careful because many of his own supporters see the Shinner leadership turning in to the SDLP. Bomb and bullet yesterday, democratic politics today, policing tommrow?

  • Hidden Gem

    Keith M – And in recent days senior SDLP members have joined the DUP in disgraceful attacks on the GAA.

    I suspect you are being just a little disingenuous here:) Weren’t the SDLP’s criticisms reserved for the Antrim Board of the GAA? That is not the same as criticising the whole of the GAA organisation, but then you knew that right?

    Glen Taisie – Sinn Fein are the new SDLP
    They wish! But what’s that they say about the best form of flattery?

    Bushmills – Refreshing to hear.

    IMO, the Shinners have always worked to their own agenda. The cause of Irish Republicanism was never helped by the sale of drugs, racketeering, “gangsterism”, abduction, torture, murder etc It seems as though the Shinners weren’t even on the right path. They had one for themselves and themselves alone!

  • slug

    “Bomb and bullet yesterday, democratic politics today, policing tommrow?”

    I am astonished you still think there is need for a question mark here!

  • Garibaldy

    The basic outlines of the GFA were in a British policy paper as far back as 1973. Much as people would like to claim credit for it, the reality is it was not a particularly original document.

  • kensei

    “The SDLP are a party comitted to a United Ireland, of that I have no doubt, ”

    Post Nationalism.

    “and as a Unionist I must say that I would much rather live in the SDLP’s version of a UI, than the bitter, vicious, sectarian UI that Sinn Fein want to see created.”

    “The challenge facing us is to be avowedly anti-sectarian, to face up to making peace with the unionist section of our people and that means we should not be afraid to make correct strategic compromises”

    Cower in FEAR at the bitter UI envisaged.

  • fair_deal

    Personally read that Adams speech as “Sorry lads that the decommissioning didn’t reap large and quick political rewards. We may need to make a few more moves too before that happens but trust us we will get you unity sometime.

  • ciaran damery

    The sdlp never changed. They supported the military campaign of SS/RUC during the most recent phase of armed struggle. They are in essence a shower of Uncle toms posing as nationalists. Their current raison d’etre is merely to undermine Sinn Féin and pursue their pro-partitionist agenda at the behest of their Orange cheerleaders. People like Mallon, Hendron, Attwood, O’Donnell and McGrady would not be out of place in the UUP/UVF. Fortunately, the Uncle toms’ party is in terminal decline and the few who are genuine nationalists would better serve the noble cause of Irish reunification by joining Sinn Féin. The rest are destined to follow Gerry Fitt’s path to oblivion and good riddance.

  • spice girl

    I am a Unionist and I certainly acknowledge the SDLP as a nationalist party. I live in south belfast and our SDLP MP is doing a superb job, serving both sections of the community. The SDLP can generally look at political decisions without having to look for what’s best for the ‘nationalist’ cause but what’s best for society as a whole. They are doing a tremendous job of breaking down barriers and building trust. I think the problem is that republicans see the DUP gain strength, thus they get a little nervous and vote SF. As SF get stronger unionists get nervous and vote DUP and the cycle continues and we get nowhere!! I realy believe if there wasn;t so much suspician in our society, the moderate parties would pick up the votes and we mihgt make some progress!!!

  • Hidden Gem

    ciaran damery – The sdlp never changed. Thank God!

    They are in essence a shower of Uncle toms posing as nationalists.

    And I suppose SF represent the great men of Ireland? Seems you are happy for unelected groupings to take it on themselves to terrorise, abduct, torture, murder and mutilate your fellow countrymen, women and children?

    spice girl – I fully agree.

    IMO SF/DUP as just as bad as each other. The power hungry Shinners are a little envious of the fact that the SDLP are able to reach out to Unionism. Though unapologetically a Nationalist party, they endeavour to win over Unionism purely on the merits of their argument. No guns. No Bombs. No bullets. Just the strength of the argument. In return the SDLP listen. They listen respectively to pro-Unionist arguments of remaining within the United Kingdom. One seeking to win over the other, purely on the strength of the argument. Difference is respected not ridiculed. Common ground is sort and a common voice is found in the condemnation of all terrorist groups. Yeah, I think the Shinners are more than just a little envious of the SDLP and I think this blog is showing it…

  • kensei

    “Personally read that Adams speech as “Sorry lads that the decommissioning didn’t reap large and quick political rewards. We may need to make a few more moves too before that happens but trust us we will get you unity sometime.”

    Yeah, but if you actually read the words rather than listeing to the voices in your head, it says something comletely different. Try it sometime.

    “Though unapologetically a Nationalist party”

    Post-Nationalism.

  • Hidden Gem

    kensei

    …but if you actually read the words rather than listeing to the voices in your head…
    Gratuitous and insulting comment noted.

    As for Gerry’s speech…., where is it to be found? In these days of ultra fast downloading times with wireless blue chip broad band technology…, where everyone on he planet is connected thanks to the amazing advances in audio-visual streaming… Until yesterday at least (I haven’t checked today), the PR masters of spin, haven’t quite managed to get it on their website yet. I wonder why that is? If the speech appears, post a link here will you?

    It amazes me tat we still read the Shinner spin on “Post-Nationalism”. It is clear that this one phrase hurt the Shinners. It strikes a chord with how they view themselves. What is also clear is that they didn’t really understand what was being said. Not that they would allow ignorance to stand in the way of soundbite. John Hume always sought to play down tribal differences, preferring instead to stress “post nationalism” in an EU context. Shinner sycophants are happy to think all of Irelands will be solved if we could get read of the border Simple politics for simple people. Sadly the rest of us know that peace isn’t won the easily.

  • John Maynard

    Much of this can be explained when you realise that John O’Dowd is nothing more than the political wing of Colin Duffy – he has to sound off like this on a regular basis to stop his local Lurgan paramilitary associates switching over an officially-declared dissident position.

    O’Dowd’s game is well known in his constituency, hence the against-trend drop in Sinn Fein’s overall absolute vote in Upper Bann. He is a distinctly unimpressive performer, a sort of hard-line version of Catriona Ruane, and destined for similar failure.

    Take heart, Sluggers. None of you despise the ‘boul O’Dowd as much as Gerry does!

  • lib2016

    This is a bit of party politics between practising party politicans, nothing more and nothing less. Sinn Fein were in the position of being able to recruit the brightest and the best for many years and of course they want things to continue that way.

    I’m not close enough now to know whether the SDLP is succeeding in it’s attempt to do a Lazarus-type comeback from the dead but if it happens it will be good for republicanism generally. Anything which broadens the appeal of republicanism in an increasingly post-unionist NI shouldn’t be resisted too strongly. Even if they only vote SDLP to keep Sinn Fein out it would be a demonstration of their growing political sophistication by unionism.

    John Hume, on behalf of the SDLP helped SF to establish itself as a credible political force and sacrificed his own party in the process. Maybe it is time to repay the favour?

  • Bushmills

    “increasingly post-unionist NI”

    gotta love the self-delusion, lib.

  • kensei

    “As for Gerry’s speech…., where is it to be found? ”
    I think you’ll find link to it on this very site.

    “In these days of ultra fast downloading times with wireless blue chip broad band technology…, where everyone on he planet is connected thanks to the amazing advances in audio-visual streaming… Until yesterday at least (I haven’t checked today), the PR masters of spin, haven’t quite managed to get it on their website yet. I wonder why that is? If the speech appears, post a link here will you?”

    Because SF’s website is totally shit, and always has been? Hardly proof of grand conspiracy theories.

    “It amazes me tat we still read the Shinner spin on “Post-Nationalism”. It is clear that this one phrase hurt the Shinners. It strikes a chord with how they view themselves. What is also clear is that they didn’t really understand what was being said. Not that they would allow ignorance to stand in the way of soundbite. John Hume always sought to play down tribal differences, preferring instead to stress “post nationalism” in an EU context.”

    Unfortunaely for the SDLP, a hell of a lot of people tended to agree with them. I know what it meant, I know where they were going with it, and I didn’t like it. Post-Nationalism is funny, enough, death for a Nationalist party. And of course I define my politics a Nationalist. That’s what they are. That’s why I don’t vote for Unionists. The inability to grasp taht simple point might be a clue on the meltdoen of SDLP, along with sweeping generalisation about SF voters. Insulting the people you wnat to attarct! Great tactic!

    “Shinner sycophants are happy to think all of Irelands will be solved if we could get read of the border Simple politics for simple people. Sadly the rest of us know that peace isn’t won the easily. ”

    No, Shinner’s believe that all of Ireland’s problems are capable of being solved if we get rid of the border, in a way that simply isn’t possible with it there. Closing your eyes and pretending that we are all the same and if we could all just get along is claptrap that is worse than useless.

  • GavBelfast

    I’ve nothing to add other than to thank Ciaran for the comedic value is his contribution (18) on this thread.

  • lib2016

    “…increasingly post-Unionist Northern Ireland”

    You really think that the people who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Trimble will rush out to vote for Paisley & Co ?

  • Hidden Gem

    kensei – …Hardly proof of grand conspiracy theories…

    I agree though I do think it suggests Gerry is not ready to be pressed on those matters.

    I know what it meant, I know where they were going with it

    The logic was clear and concise. In a Europe that is growing, issues that were once seen as the reasons for inter-national conflict are increasingly able to be solved at a higher level of the EU. The National Interest of a nation state does not hold the same relevancy as it did even a decade ago. In that sense, we are we have moved in to an era of post-nationalism. My question would be “why do people still want to hold on to antiquated ideas of nationalism when the decisions that effect their lives are being taken by people who are dealing with the greater good of everyone?” This doesn’t deny the idea of National identity. IMO, it actually enriches it and affords it a greater relevancy but on a world stage and not merely “at home”.

    Insulting the people you wnat to attarct! Great tactic!
    Sarcastic, presumptuous and patronising comment noted.

    Who said I want to attract those people? I have little in common with any one who can lend their support to people who try and justify the callous and chillingly cold-blooded murder of their fellow country men. I’d be an insomniac. than sleep soundly with the devil.

    …Shinner’s believe that all of Ireland’s problems are capable of being solved if we get rid of the border…

    But not everyone agrees. Some of us are firmly of the opinion that simply removing the border would change little. Jumping from the frying pan and in to the fryer, as it were. Shifting the problem but nothing really changes.

  • kensei

    “The logic was clear and concise. In a Europe that is growing, issues that were once seen as the reasons for inter-national conflict are increasingly able to be solved at a higher level of the EU. The National Interest of a nation state does not hold the same relevancy as it did even a decade ago. In that sense, we are we have moved in to an era of post-nationalism.”

    People keep saying this, and it keeps not being true. Try selling post-nationalism in the USA. Or the former Yugoslavia. Or in the Czech states. Or in Eastern Europe where we they are not long out of Communist rule. Or watch how the EU just rejected a Constitution.

    True, there are now supranational bodies, and these also should concern us. But the Nation State as a political and cultural entity is still alive and well.

    I understand the analysis. It is just completely wrong.

    “My question would be “why do people still want to hold on to antiquated ideas of nationalism when the decisions that effect their lives are being taken by people who are dealing with the greater good of everyone?” This doesn’t deny the idea of National identity. IMO, it actually enriches it and affords it a greater relevancy but on a world stage and not merely “at home”.”

    Nonsense. For a start, the EU is not making decisions for the greater good, particualry when you get to stuff like software patents. It also, despite doing some nice progressive things, is seriously undemocratic.

    “Sarcastic, presumptuous and patronising comment noted.”

    Have you been reading your own posts?

    “Who said I want to attract those people? I have little in common with any one who can lend their support to people who try and justify the callous and chillingly cold-blooded murder of their fellow country men. I’d be an insomniac. than sleep soundly with the devil.”

    Of course, all of the voters that voted for SF support them for those very reasons. I am happy for you to take that attitude, as with dwindling support the SDLP will be further stripped of the ability to do any more damage.

    “But not everyone agrees. Some of us are firmly of the opinion that simply removing the border would change little. Jumping from the frying pan and in to the fryer, as it were. Shifting the problem but nothing really changes.”

    Of course, but you have absolutely no way to back it up. Whereas I can cite the ability to have real power over things like economic policy, war and peace, social policy if the border is removed in a way we simply don’t with it in place. I can cite the fact that such an arrangement is inherently more stable. I can cite lots of reasons. I am happy to have that argment, because I know I can win it.

  • groucho

    I dunno meself. I rarely think of a united ireland. does this make me a post nationalist?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    lib2016

    Seems you haven’t got the message yet. There will be no united Ireland until some voters who are currently Unionist vote for it, not to mention many small ‘u’ unionist Catholics.

    SF have reconised that after the last census the game was up. Why do you think they appointed their new director of unionism?

    Do you think Unionists will vote to leave the large mothership to go for a little sail boat that can be caught in any ill winds, the answer I fear in a resounding NO. There is no economic justification for unionists to vote for a UI, there only misty green smoke and mirrors.

    So why don’t you put your aspiration on the shelf and accept that a UI is not going to happen anytime soon, if ever, and work to make Northern Ireland a better place for everyone Nationalist, Republican and Unionist. I know that the fear is that if NI becomes to comfortable that a UI recedes even further into the background but in the end politics is about how well people are given the services they require and the ability to earn a decent wage. It matters not if that is in a UI or the UK if people are happy.

  • kensei

    “Seems you haven’t got the message yet. There will be no united Ireland until some voters who are currently Unionist vote for it, not to mention many small ‘u’ unionist Catholics.”

    Yeah, they always seem to turn and vote Alliance or the UUP. Oh wiat, no, the other one.

    “SF have reconised that after the last census the game was up. Why do you think they appointed their new director of unionism?”

    The last census was in no way a silver bullet to anything. Catholic birth rate slowed but it was still ahead of the Protestant one. The Protestant population is also older. Might take a bit longer, but the mathematics remains.

    “Do you think Unionists will vote to leave the large mothership to go for a little sail boat that can be caught in any ill winds, the answer I fear in a resounding NO.”

    Yeah, because the UK economy has outperformed the Irish one for the past decade. Wait, no, the other one. Because being in the UK ecomony provides access to markets beyond the advantages the EU gives. Oh, wait, no, the other one again. And politicians here have a major say in all the important parts of the economy. Wiat, no, I’m having a very bad day.

    “There is no economic justification for unionists to vote for a UI, there only misty green smoke and mirrors.”

    No, there is every economic justification. Aside from the ROI’s bigger growth, need for more labour to fuel further growth, the fact it is probably the only way to break complete dependence on the public sector, the economies that could probaly be realised with single Ireland energy and phone markets, the Republic’s more competitive corporate tax, the fact remain if you don’t like any of these things, you have a hell of a better chance to change it in a UI Parliament than in the UK one. Ever.

    There is also sorts of arguemnts for the Union, but the economic one doesnn’t exist anymore.

    “So why don’t you put your aspiration on the shelf and accept that a UI is not going to happen anytime soon, if ever, and work to make Northern Ireland a better place for everyone Nationalist, Republican and Unionist. I know that the fear is that if NI becomes to comfortable that a UI recedes even further into the background but in the end politics is about how well people are given the services they require and the ability to earn a decent wage. It matters not if that is in a UI or the UK if people are happy.”

    Why should I give up my aspirations? Why don’t you give up yours? The reality is that this place isn’t going to be here in 50 years one way or another. If a UI doesn’t happen, internal forces will repartition the place. The Union might not even last that long, as Scotland or Walres could in theory rip it apart.

    And it goe sbeyond economic arguments. The UK’s constitutional arrangements are horrifying, giving carte blanche to any governemnt, and I personal can’t stand monarchy. It’s also getting increasingly authoritarian.

  • darth rumsfeld

    brendan delivers my letter
    is he a post-nationalist?

    I’ll get me sash

  • Frustrated Democrat

    kensei

    Let’s here a coherent argued economic case for a UI that doesn’t rely on hand outs from the UK the EU the USA etc.

    No one I know have has ever come up with one based on hard economic facts. The ROI is a tiddler economy compared to the UK and always will be, populations of 4m v 70m, that’s all that needs to be said.

    You may not like it, but I didn’t say give up your aspiration – I said put it on the shelf i.e. put health, education, crime and economy as your main political planks not something that isn’t going to happen anytime soon if ever and certaintly not in 2016 or 2026. Work for the common good of everyone regardless of background.

    Remember it was SF who agreed to consent over a UI as well as the unionists, so you are stuck with a British Government, the Monarchy etc. it was part of the consent………

  • kensei

    “Let’s here a coherent argued economic case for a UI that doesn’t rely on hand outs from the UK the EU the USA etc.”

    Are you on crack? I spectacularly failed to mention the EU or the US.

    “No one I know have has ever come up with one based on hard economic facts. The ROI is a tiddler economy compared to the UK and always will be, populations of 4m v 70m, that’s all that needs to be said.”

    Yeah, if your understanding of economics is on power with a mountain goat.

    What on earth has total population size got to do with anything? It is true that Ireland will always have a smaller population than that of the UK, and hence smaller GDP. But that’s ok, because it *has* a smaller population, and therefore less liabilities. What advantage is greater absolute GDP? Why on earth does it matter? Ireland has more or less the same access to markets as the UK. It also has higher per capita income, and a higher growth rate. The health service is cack, but that would be #1 on the agenda on my platform for election to an All-Ireland Parliament.

    “You may not like it, but I didn’t say give up your aspiration – I said put it on the shelf i.e. put health, education, crime and economy as your main political planks not something that isn’t going to happen anytime soon if ever and certaintly not in 2016 or 2026. Work for the common good of everyone regardless of background.”

    No. I don’t believe it’s not goig to happen, and I think that if it does happen then it will help all of those things. I think it is the number 1 thing in enabling me to do things about the other things. You change your mind.

    This is a fun game, isn’t it?

    “Remember it was SF who agreed to consent over a UI as well as the unionists, so you are stuck with a British Government, the Monarchy etc. it was part of the consent……… ”

    Until I get 50%+1. Or scotland and Wales break up the whle shebang.

  • Harry Flashman

    Kensei

    “the need to break complete dependence on the public sector”

    You’ve finally said something I agree with, you’ve come out of the closet at last!

    Say it loud, say it proud, “I’m a Thatcherite and I ain’t going away!”

    It’s so liberating isn’t it? Think of the handbags you can choose, yeeeaaahhh, we’re all Thacherites now and we’re proud!”

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Kensei

    Where is your argued economic arguement to substantiate that the the average person living in NI will be better off living in a UI than being linked to the UK over the next 20 years. I have never heard one coming from even the most died in the wool supporter of a UI can you put one forward that is based on hard facts and takes into account the removal of preferential Corporation Tax rates in the RoI and the subsequent withdrawal of much of the ‘screwdriver economy’ to lower cost climes.

    I don’t have to change, I live in the UK and a substantial majority of those living here want it to remain that way. You are in the minority and consent is that the majority wins ever time.

    Convince me that I and my family will be better of in a UI on all counts, economic and social, and I will vote for it. I won’t vote for it because you want it.

  • kensei

    “You’ve finally said something I agree with, you’ve come out of the closet at last!

    Say it loud, say it proud, “I’m a Thatcherite and I ain’t going away!”

    It’s so liberating isn’t it? Think of the handbags you can choose, yeeeaaahhh, we’re all Thacherites now and we’re proud!” ”

    I’m not a Thatercite. I am a Social Democrat. I believe in a mixed economy. 70% reliance on the public sector? We don’t have a mixed economy here.

    “Where is your argued economic arguement to substantiate that the the average person living in NI will be better off living in a UI than being linked to the UK over the next 20 years.”

    The Republic, from being some distance behind, has surged past here in per capita GDP. It’s growth rate is higher, and it will continue to pull away from us in the coming years. We need to drop reliance on the public sector as a percentage of GDP from 70% to anywhere from 50% to 35%, depending on your politics. Measures will be brought in either way. The Republic needs labour to fuel growth, we need private sector jobs.

    “I have never heard one coming from even the most died in the wool supporter of a UI can you put one forward that is based on hard facts and takes into account the removal of preferential Corporation Tax rates in the RoI and the subsequent withdrawal of much of the ‘screwdriver economy’ to lower cost climes.”

    Or right, how about we ignore the UK’s economic advantages and imagine some doomsday scenario and compare?

    “I don’t have to change, I live in the UK and a substantial majority of those living here want it to remain that way. You are in the minority and consent is that the majority wins ever time.”

    No, what we have is “No, you give up” “No you give” pointless kind of argument”

    “Convince me that I and my family will be better of in a UI on all counts, economic and social, and I will vote for it. I won’t vote for it because you want it. ”

    Why must it be on all counts? Such a situation is impossible, because there will always be trade off. I try and convince you why I think on balance you will be better off generally, however. I suspect you’d not give me a fair crack of the whip, however.

    Moreover, what i am trying to show you is not just that you will be better off generally, but for the negatives you will have a chance to effect real change – to do something about it – in a way you will never do in the UK.

  • Hidden Gem

    “The logic was clear and concise. In a Europe that is growing, issues that were once seen as the reasons for inter-national conflict are increasingly able to be solved at a higher level of the EU. The National Interest of a nation state does not hold the same relevancy as it did even a decade ago. In that sense, we are we have moved in to an era of post-nationalism.”

    You say the idea of post-nationalism “keeps not being true.” but can you explain “how”. Is the bit about reasons for inter-national conflict being increasingly able to be solved at higher levels of the EU ? Or is it the inference that the National Interest of a nation state does not hold the same relevancy as it once used to? Please explain. Without an explanation, your dismissal lacks any credibility but I’m sure you can see that?

    …the Nation State as a political and cultural entity is still alive and well.
    I fully agree. I don’t mean to suggest that the NS is irrelevant, just less relevant and becoming more so as more and more EU directives head out of Brussels.

    “My question would be “why do people still want to hold on to antiquated ideas of nationalism when the decisions that effect their lives are being taken by people who are dealing with the greater good of everyone?” This doesn’t deny the idea of National identity. IMO, it actually enriches it and affords it a greater relevancy but on a world stage and not merely “at home”.”

    Nonsense.
    Dismissive and insulting comment noted.

    As with any national government, there will always be decisions and rulings that many will object to. It happens at levels of government. It is not a fair criticism of the EU to simply say that it is not making decisions for the greater good. Opposition parties the world over, working to their own agenda, will tell you the government isn’t working for the greater good. Tories say it of Labour. FG says it of FF. Democrats say it of Republicans. SF say it the SDLP. Sure the EU has its faults but name a government anywhere in the world that is completely without its critics.

    Have you been reading your own posts?
    Sarcastic and patronising comment noted.

    I’ll say again, I have little in common with any one who can lend their support to people who try and justify the callous and chillingly cold-blooded murder of their fellow country men. That’s probably where you and I differ?

    I am happy for you to take that attitude…
    Patronsing comment noted.

    …but you have absolutely no way to back it up…
    I see know reason why I should have to. Will removing the border, initself, stop hatred of one side for the other. Please explain to me how this might be because I just can’t see it happening. There are many bitter people out there.

    “ ..I can cite the ability to have real power over things like…, war and peace…”
    That’s some power!

    “…I am happy to have that argment, because I know I can win it.”
    Confidence, arrogance or blind-sighted sycophancy?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Kensei

    ‘Or right, how about we ignore the UK’s economic advantages and imagine some doomsday scenario and compare?’

    You think I outlined a doomsday scenario, the tax advantage will go as will the screwdriver factories. The EU will not allow a tax divergence within the Euro to exist for ever as in the end they want to push for harmonisation of all taxes.

    Can the Irish economy sustain a normal corporation tax rate and still grow? It would be an interesting arguement but I think we all have to look at the low cost economies who will in the end take over volume manufacturing and screwdriver plants. The Irish economy lacks the scale of indigenous R&D that is necessary to sustain industry in the long run. It is substantially dependent on R&D that is is imported and can be just as easily exported.

    The question remains can you justify and economic reason for a United Ireland. I haven’t even heard you try so far, all you have done is trot out GDP numbers which can be sustantially effected by excanges rates to name but one. Where is the detailed arguement to persuade me? Do you have one or not?

    I suspect by your evasion that your UI is part of the green mist ‘it will be alright when we have a UI won’t it bhoys’. That won’t convince the 60% of people in NI who are unionists (small u)to covert to your thoughts.

  • kensei

    “You say the idea of post-nationalism “keeps not being true.” but can you explain “how”. Is the bit about reasons for inter-national conflict being increasingly able to be solved at higher levels of the EU ? Or is it the inference that the National Interest of a nation state does not hold the same relevancy as it once used to? Please explain. Without an explanation, your dismissal lacks any credibility but I’m sure you can see that?”

    Post Nationalism suggests that the Nation state is dead or dying, or somehow people have moved beyond the petty concerns of Nationalism. Neither of these assertions are true. Some supranational government has been a positive thing, as it cleaerly has produced stability benefits in Europe, but it has complemented the Nation State rather than replaced it. European directive do not replace National government.

    As for people, Nationalism remains strong all over the world. It isn’t WW1 special destiny nationalism, at least not in Europe, but again, different doesn’t mean dead.

    “Sure the EU has its faults but name a government anywhere in the world that is completely without its critics. ”

    The EU doesn’t have proper opposition and is completely undemocratic. They are only constraintyed by the selfish and competing interests of the member states. It just about works, but I’d prefer some kind of proper control of it.

    “I see know reason why I should have to. Will removing the border, initself, stop hatred of one side for the other. Please explain to me how this might be because I just can’t see it happening. There are many bitter people out there. ”

    A United Ireland is endgame. It forces down barriers. There is slim to no hope of rejoining the UK under such a scenario. It is a fundamentally more stable arrangement. And Unionism would have a lot of friends in a New Ireland in the South. It doesn’t remove hatred but it forces shared space, it forces people to confront problems, it gives people a chance to have a proper say in their government, and it gives people a chance for better prosperity. You seem to missing the argument. I am not saying it is a magic cure, just it much better than what we have now. Much better.

  • kensei

    “You think I outlined a doomsday scenario, the tax advantage will go as will the screwdriver factories. The EU will not allow a tax divergence within the Euro to exist for ever as in the end they want to push for harmonisation of all taxes.”

    It won’t happen. National governments will simply not give up that power and populations won’t stand for it. The Constitution has just been rejected. What your suggesting isn’t on the table for the next 50 years, and no one is suggesting it.

    “Can the Irish economy sustain a normal corporation tax rate and still grow? It would be an interesting arguement but I think we all have to look at the low cost economies who will in the end take over volume manufacturing and screwdriver plants. The Irish economy lacks the scale of indigenous R&D that is necessary to sustain industry in the long run. It is substantially dependent on R&D that is is imported and can be just as easily exported.”

    That is some crazy talk. The population of a UI would be pushing 6 million and growing. Sweden, Finland, Austria, Switzerland are all in that order of magnitude and doing fine, and that’s just Europe. The facts of life are: Rich countries tend to stay rich.

    Moreover, Ireland has a competive advantage over the rest of Europe, including the UK – it has a young rather than aging population.

    “The question remains can you justify and economic reason for a United Ireland. I haven’t even heard you try so far, all you have done is trot out GDP numbers which can be sustantially effected by excanges rates to name but one. Where is the detailed arguement to persuade me? Do you have one or not?”

    I can certainly build one. The exchange rate argument is particularly weak, considering Ireland works in Euros.

    “I suspect by your evasion that your UI is part of the green mist ‘it will be alright when we have a UI won’t it bhoys’. That won’t convince the 60% of people in NI who are unionists (small u)to covert to your thoughts.”

    I’m not arguing everything will be alright. I am arguing that it is not ok now. I am arguing that it is easier to make it better within a Unuited Ireland context. I am arguing that YOU personally will matter more. Heck, if you went for a UI now you could help draft a new Constiution, nevermind the law.

  • ciaran damery

    John Maynard – you make reference to Colin Duffy. Is that the same man who was framed by SS/RUC and kept in prison for 11 odd months on the word of the now deceased LVF Unionist terrorist and Orange Heroin dealer Clifford McKeown. Colin Duffy is sound as a pound. If there were more Colin Duffys in Ireland, the issue of partition would have been resolved a long time ago. Colin Duffy and his comrades in North and South Armagh are here to stay. So get used to it or go back to scotland.

  • me

    I,m always shocked at the contempt unionist bloggers show for Irelands “tiger economy”.as if its just a cute hoor phenonemon whereby we managed to con the yanks into giving us loads of factories or we managed to set up some sort of dodgy cayman islands offshore account with the IFSC or we conned billons out of the eu.
    the tiger economy was created by a a myriad of reasons(and certainly not on the basis of “handouts”-if economies flourished on that basis NI would have the most robust in the world) but it isn,t some temporary phenonomen.the country has been asset building on a huge scale for the last 15 years and come the inevitable recession as kensei says “rich countries tend to stay rich”.Sure our economy has glaring weaknesses- show me one that doesn,t.But it isn,t our RnD capabilities I,d be worried about.We,re doubling our number of qualified PHD graduates in the next 5 years and the govt is poised to spend billons in improving our RnD capabilities over the next few years.
    We can see the writing on the wall with regards to the screwdriver factories???(which are located where exactly I thought we were world leaders in exporting software and pharmaceuticals)

  • lib2016

    The centre of power is slowly moving towards Brussels. It has become obvious, even to the British, that this island is more sensibly treated as a single economy and no unionist has ever explained what advantage there is for the North to deal with Brussels through London.

    One economy with it’s centre in Dublin dealing directly with Brussels. That model has been a huge success story for the South and one which we would do well to join.

    All the more so as Britain, with it’s own huge internal problems, now faces the prospect of futher isolation in Europe.

    As an English-speaking country with no imperial past we have huge advantages, particularly as an entry-point to the largest economy in the world. As an entrypoint to a declining secondrate power at odds with the European mainland we could lose those advantages.

    Time to dump the Brits!

  • 50%+

    Always read the sub-text.

    “screwdriver factories” = factories run by taigs.
    It’s important to remember that for the master race of colonists to justify oppression they must always denigrate the sub-human natives.
    ‘protestant work ethic = dole loving taigs’
    It’s easier to justify the genocide of the native population when you view them as ‘less than us’. Most slugger loyalist posters are too cute to be overtly racist, so they practice their support and instigation of racial hatred quite cleverly.
    ‘decent folk of Ulster = protestants’
    This particular post is a good example of the impossibility of a solution to the NI problem while their is a majority of the master race colonists.
    In the short term the answer is probably ‘benign apartheid’.
    I think the long term solution will be similar to the Algerian situation in the ’60s. The colonists will have to return home to their native homeland.

  • Hidden Gem

    Kensei

    Post Nationalism suggests that the Nation state is dead or dying, or somehow people have moved beyond the petty concerns of Nationalism.

    Wrong. Post Nationalism suggest that Nationalism, as an ideology, is less relevant NOT irrelevant. There is a big difference between here and it is wrong to suggest otherwise. In a European setting, many of the economic and social policies indirectly influencing our lives are borne out of European directives. The Nation State today is not the Nation State of fifty years ago. Things certainly did change after the Second World War.

    …European directive do not replace National government…

    Wrong. Without national governments, European directives have no weight. There is no suggestion that the EU has replaced the role of individual Nation States, just that it exerts a greater influence on them than ever before.

    …As for people, Nationalism remains strong all over the world…

    Of course it does, but then look at the state of the world! It seems that there’s a war on every continent. Somebody somewhere is always prepared to kill another person because of “Nationlism”.

    …The EU doesn’t have proper opposition and is completely undemocratic…

    Like it or loath it it, the EU is based on PR; a process generally viewed as one of the fairest.

    … It doesn’t remove hatred but it forces shared space, it forces people to confront problems…

    But surely that’s part of the problem we have now? For the past thirty odd years, people have been forced in to a shared space which has resulted in the most bitter forms of hatred. Whilst some of us aspire to the peaceful reunification of Ireland, I think it is naive to think that simply removing the border would remove all of Ireland’s problems. I fully acknowledge that you are not suggesting this as a “cure” in itself, but I remain to be convinced of how it would ease tensions, remove sectarian rivalry etc

    When John Hulme made his reference to “post nationalism”, I don’t believe he aimed to create a whole new ideology. Instead, I think he was just making reference to something which was becoming obvious. This was seized on by the Shinners because it attacked their “raison d’etre”. IMO, this was a cynical ploy on their part which won extra votes for them but set the whole peace process back considerably.

  • John Maynard

    “Colin Duffy and his comrades in North and South Armagh are here to stay. So get used to it or go back to scotland.”

    – I think you should try telling that one to your Gerry, our Ciaran. Following Duffy’s threat to take the North Armagh brigade over to the Real IRA during Drumcree (a threat immediatley backed up by Brendan McKenna, who really didn’t want to lose his media profile), the Shinners have been distancing themselves from Duffy via a long game of alternately telling people what they want to hear then quietly doing the exact opposite. Saddling the area with a dud representative like McDowd may or may not have been part of the strategy but it is certainly a fortunate coincidence.

    It always amuses me when unionists go off on one over that speech Adams made on the border about all the “work on the ground” that it took to bring Drumcree about. Far from an indication that republicans planned the trouble, this was merely the beginning of isolating the troublemakers with that most letal of all Gerry’s weapons – empty flattery.

    Duffy, O’Dowd, McKenna and McKevitt are all yesterday’s men. The unionists are just too stupid to see it – and it appears, dear Ciaran, that so are you.

  • ciaran damery

    John M:- I refer you to your comment about Mr. Duffy. Colin Duffy and Breandán MacCionaith remain at the coalface of the struggle in North Armagh and Drumcree in particular. Well to paraphrase Breandán, Drumcree is a dead duck. It ain’t happin’! Geddit? as for Colin Duffy? Men and women like him play pivotal roles in the struggle for freedom in Ireland. Unlike many, they prefer to remain out of the spotlight. But all within the Republican family have different roles. As for Mickey McKevitt? he is an Irish Patriot and trusted Irish Republican. History will judge his role in Ireland’s quest for liberation favourably. Ya won’t be
    able to say the same for Mickey McDowell.

  • Nevin

    Spice Girl, you can listen later on to Alastair McDonnell on Sunday Sequence where he describes himself as a dissenting voice within the SDLP.

  • John Maynard

    Ciaran Damery, ladies and gentlemen – apologist for the Omagh bomb.

  • ciaran damery

    John Maynard, I assume my acknowledgement of Mickey McKevitt’s pivotal role in Ireland’s most recent armed struggle for liberation, is behind your flawed and devious post concerning the slaughter in Omagh. Mickey mcKevitt has never been charged or convicted of any involvement in that terrible indiscriminate slaughter. You may also be unaware of the fact that Sinn Féin are (by far) the largest party in Omagh and the parliamentary representative for the area is a long time Irish Republican, Pat Doherty. So please draw conclusions based on an anylisis that is empirically validated rather that some (typical) Orange-type manipulation of facts designed to deceive.

  • John Maynard

    So – you do recognise the court?

  • ciaran damery

    Merely stating a fact which is that nobody could pin the slaughter in Omagh on Mickey McKevitt. Not even the non-jury souther court or the Diplock system in the occupied zone. But why chabnge the subject? You accuse me of being “apologist for the Omagh bomb.” Well, if two non-jury courts in both jurisdictions are unable to pin the slaughter of the innocents in Omagh on McKevitt, then nobody can. Sure, the media tried, but the clinically depressed Harris and his friends within some anti-republican media outlets could not even do it.

  • John Maynard

    So – who do you think did plant the Omagh bomb then?

  • ciaran damery

    Not Mickey McKevitt? That’s for sure.