Unification racing certainty, or political dead duck?

Robert Keogh, an irregular contributor to the Slugger debate, now has his own blog. According to his initial extrapolations, the gap between the total number of people voting unionist over those voting nationalist narrowed to less than 50,000 in the European elections two years ago. This, Robert believes, means the end of Unionism is nigh. Although it is a view he moderates somewhat in the comments zone.The ‘rate of convergence’ in voting numbers has slowed considerably in recent years, which would suggest that, if other factors remain the same, future declination will be much slower than the steep curve of the 70s and 80’s. It would also be useful to probe what possible salient factors are conditioning the gap. Are we, for instance, simply witnessing differential patterns of voter engagement, rather than a active shift in base national loyalties?

Some estimate, for instance, that up to 150,000 extra voters of a Unionist background turned out for the referendum on the Belfast Agreement that generally do not vote in Northern Ireland’s perhaps over-regular elections. If even remotely true, it would seem the only way of achieving the kind of political union with the Republic is through a conversion of that non voting base.

A quick glance at the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey 2005 shows little thawing in what are very negative figures (3%, down from 5% in 2004) in positive attitudes amongst Protestants towards a future United Ireland. In contrast, 25% of Catholics wish to remain within the UK.

All of which explains why all NI’s parties spend little time or resources trying to prosleytise the ‘other side’. But it also serves up an important dilemma for Nationalists. It would appear, that without an increase in ‘political converts’ unification looks, for the moment at least, more of a thin chimera than a credible political aim.

  • Brian Boru

    The reason Unionism finds it hard to accept the reality of the Celtic Tiger is a continuing 400 yr old colonial mentality which sees the natives as incapable of governing themselves.

  • Greenflag

    ‘The issue for nationalism is whether unionists are potential compatriots to be won over or simply enemies to be conquered. ‘

    The issue is neither . The former is a waste of time and not worth the cost and the latter is against the provisions of the GFA and has been written out of the Irish Constitution. Growing economic disparities between the prosperous expanding Republic and the less prosperous inward looking North will no doubt create ‘pressure ‘ on the NI State . But by itself will not change the political or national identity of Unionists . The period 1939 through 1962 was a time when the Irish Republic fell behind NI in terms of economic growth and development . This ‘doldrum’ period did not spark any moves by the ROI population at the time to rejoin the Union. Why would Unionists be any different in their political reluctance to join a more prosperous Republic ?

    For those Northern Nationalists and Republicans who want a UI the words of Rev William Marshall (Presbyterian Minister) of Castlerock in the 1930’s still ring true . In a conversation with a nationalist friend the Rev Marshall said that the only way that Unionists would be ‘got ‘would be by them being outbred . (Marcus Tanner’s ‘Ireland’s Holy Wars pg 325 )Apparently even in the 1930’s this was considered a possibility .Fortunately the continued high emigration figures of Irish nationalists from NI as compared to Unionists in the period 1920 through 1980 has helped to secure the small majority which Unionism holds today.

    As I presume ‘outbreeding’ the Unionists is not likely to be adopted as official Party Policy by either the SDLP or SF then I suggest that Northern Nationalists accept the status quo and lie back and think of Queenie as their Head of State for the forseeable future . I can understand they may prefer Mary but there you go !

    There is another solution in the wings which has been in gestation for two decades . It’s the dreaded R word . It’s probably DUP policy but they haven’t been outed on it yet . First they have to despatch the UUP permanently . Then as sole representatives of Unionism they’ll make their pitch for their own State in a smaller NI . The DUP were never in favour of power sharing ever . Neither with the SDLP in the past nor with SF today .The very good political rational for this stance is that they know that power sharing would be just a prelude to a UI . All the signposts are there .

    The DUP can read the census numbers and the writing on the wall . All the choreography including the Dublin visits etc is all part of their ‘plan’.

    As for the sell out of those Unionists west of the Bann ? The DUP already have a precedent used in 1920 on the Unionists of Donegal , Cavan , and Monaghan.

    But first the ‘devolved’ nonsense must be buried and the DUP must try to ensure that it is SF who take the blame . Difficult only in so far as persuading non Unionists outside of NI, and they don’t matter anyway when it comes to votes within NI . Most Unionists in NI are only too happy to see SF kept well away from having their hands on power .

    Assuming that the Nov 24th deadline passes and the NI Assembly is disbanded what should be the reaction of Northern Nationalists and Republicans ?

    Might I suggest ‘celebration’ for in truth the NI Assembly simply does not have the powers to do what needs to be done to revive the NI private sector, and without that the economic regeneration of NI will not take place on anything like the scale which is needed .

    And after that ? The Government’s ‘Repartition Plan ‘ also known as the Seven Super Councils can be worked by Nationalists in their majority areas of the west and south of NI towards economic and political ‘unification ‘ with the Republic . Belfast will probably become a Nationalist majority city within the next decade anyway so eventually 4 of the 7 District will be non Unionist in terms of control .

    Thereafter any potential Unionist State in NI would be ‘divided ‘ as between the heavily Unionist areas of the Gold Coast and East and South Antrim /North Armagh. And if the DUP decide to go for Repartition then we Irish should try to facilitate them in every way possible . We don’t need 800,000 alienated , disgruntled Unionists in a UI pining away for their lost Queenie connection ?

  • marty

    “The Government’s ‘Repartition Plan…

    Greenflag! What took you so long?! As I trawled over each post I thought to myself “good old Greenglag will be along any post now with some repartition waffle”.

    May I put forward a suggestion to the moderators? Add “repartition” and it’s various permutations to the banned word list. It’s more offensive than “b-i-g-o-t” by a long stretch.

  • Greenflag

    ‘It’s more offensive than “b-i-g-o-t” by a long stretch. ‘

    Why is it offensive ? because it upsets ‘republicans ‘ ? It worked for the Czechs and Slovaks also for the Serbs and Croats . And just recently for the Serbs and Montenegro . It will probably end up working in Iraq for Kurdistan /Shias /Sunnis.

    NI is basically like the Balkans in terms of it’s political and religious divisions. Fortunately for NI , Britain unlike the former Austro Hungarian Empire has not yet broken apart . The Versailles Treaty cobbled together a Yugoslav State based on Serb ‘majority ‘rule ‘ which nobody wanted . Sounds familar ? That upset the Croats and others and led to the latter supporing the Germans in WW2 against the Serbs . The props holding Yugoslavia together were maintained under communist totalitarian rule . Once the latter went then it was back to 1918 .
    The simple fact of life Marty is that if people do not wish to share the same State or power share there is nothing that anybody can do to make them . Sooner or later you have to face the facts . The Czechs and Slovaks did so . So to did the Slovenians , Croats , Bosnians, Serbs and Montenegrins .

    So too should Northern Ireland .

  • dub

    greenflag,

    i think you overestimate unionists’ ambition; if you read very carefully statements by loyalists and intelligent dupers like gregory campbell then it is obvious yes that they do want their own identity etc amd want to rule themselves… this is possible however in a federal ireland too… repartition would not appeal to them because they want econonic benefits of united ireland… all the visits to dublin etc make sense in this regard too.. then we dont have to conquer them or win them over to iriah nationalism either.. they can be themselves in an irish context.. this is what loyalists have always wanted… thats why for example they opposed Act of Union in 1801..

    so i am with you in everything you say apart from the form this solution (ie recognising people as they are) can take..

    regards,

    dub

  • declan

    Back to the question of this thread.

    I believe that things are as yet in a situation where people answer the question as they hope. People hope the current demographic and migration situation will resolve itself in their own favour.

    However the plots shown on the blog show a narrowing up to 1997 but that the narrowing has stopped.

    In truth people will need a decade or more before the evidence lands one way or the other. Basically by 2021 it will be clear whether:

    – the demographic strategy is going to get support for a UI over the critical mass

    – the Celtic Tiger is going to get this support over a critical mass

    – the Sinn Fein outreach strategy and more generally the strategy of persuation in a peaceful context is going to get this support over a critical mass.

    If we go through all the above, we go through 2016, and 2021, and there is no growth in support for a United Ireland then nationalists will come to a crunch point. Because at that point the rock of nationalist expectation will meet a hard place.

    Of course things could move in nationalists direction but my point is that one way or another it will be much clearer by 2021 because a lot of demographic economic and historical factors all converge then.

    It will be an interesting 15 years.

  • Southern Observer

    Greenflag,
    A few points:
    1.You have stimulated much needed debate on the repartition issue -an issue which,in general terms,has been seriously underdebated.
    2.You have argued very impressively.
    3.I am usually in 90%+ agreement with you.
    4.However…er.. let’s put it this way,if someone started a thread on tiddlywinks you would eventually swing it around to repartition.

  • Southern Observer

    One more point,where Greenflag goes,Declan,who makes John ‘single tranferable speech’Hume seem like oratorical master of the unexpected, invariably follows.

  • Wilde Rover

    Why is the European Union always ‘them lads on the continent’ as if they were neighbours that occasionally popped over? If all sides of the spectrum accept the reality of Europe, and where WE are going, then they might realize that the argument over these changing numbers in the north is, in REAL TERMS (sorry about the use of caps, but it seems necessary) like arguing over a future reunification of Meath and Westmeath. You can cut the European pie as many times as you want, but it’s still the same Brussels pie.

    As for my erstwhile fellow travelers belief in a happy ever after, I am afraid the orangies have you on this one: the rapist’s rationalization – you will like it once I stick it in – does not stand up to cross-examination.

    And no, I don’t have an all encompassing view of what’s going to happen in the future. I don’t own a crystal ball.

  • Harry

    10 years ago the resolution of the situation in the north within the context of european integration seemed to show the way forward. However with britain’s reluctance to join the euro, with their refusal to join Schengen, with the integration of their military into American geo-political plans and military structures (as a matter of deliberate policy) and with their commitment to fighting in Iraq alongside the US for clearly american geo-political aims – with all of this it is clear that the concept of resolving the north within the context of increasing european integration has receded and we are left with a more bi-lateral approach between the governments of ireland and britain. Even the GFA is an international agreement between two states, not an agreement under the aegis of the european union.

    As such concentrating on the issue as if its just a question of the number of unionists and nationalists in the north and how they negotiate the situation is naive. It is a much bigger issue than that and the main protagonist is Britain.

    NATO and the trans-Atlantic Bridge are extremely important to the United States. Anglo-American military co-operation in arms production, military integration and geo-political aims are extremely important for Britain and the US. The relationship between Britain and the EU as well as Britain-America and the EU is marked by friendly relations but also tensions. These tensions remain and are certainly unresolved. Those who think Ireland is an unimportant little area of real estate bang in the centre of the trans-Atlantic Bridge are deluding themselves. For more on the anglo-american relationship and how it affects europe see here, here, here and here.

    A few quotes from some of those sources are the following:
    “The hidden agenda behind the Anglo-American “trans-Atlantic bridge” is to eventually displace the Franco-German military conglomerates and ensure the dominance of the U.S. military industrial complex (in alliance with Britain’s major defence contractors).
    Moreover, this integration in the area of defence production has also been matched by increased cooperation between the CIA and Britain’s MI5 in the sphere of intelligence and covert operations, not to mention the joint operations of British and U.S. Special Forces.”

    “Despite its inferiority in terms of armaments and military manpower, should Europe prove able to act collectively it would represent a major economic rival to the US. Therefore, especially following the refusal of France, Germany and Russia to unreservedly back Washington’s war against Iraq, the Bush administration has concluded that it must now work deliberately to destabilise Europe and sabotage the project of European integration.”

    ” If a common European foreign and security policy (CFSP) had genuinely functioned in 2003, Belgium, France or Greece (all states with strongly anti-American publics) could have vetoed the UK, Poland, and Italy from aiding the United States in Iraq.
    The most prominent major casualty of a CFSP would be the Anglo-American special relationship, forcibly consigned to the scrapheap of history. America’s closest ally in the war on terrorism would be unable to operate its own foreign policy and stand alongside America when and where it chose to do so.

    So we would expect, if the above were true, to see evidence of british interference in the ‘peace process’ and evidence of british bad faith. And sure enough, we do see these things – from Castlereagh to accusations over the northern bank (without evidence in the lead up to an election) to Stormontgate to the installation of a new MI5 headquarters to FBI interference in the form of Rupert to the stange absence of an expected 35,000 catholics from the census figures.

    If you think Ireland is of no importance in all of this then you have no understanding of how important a role Ireland has played strategically in the history of anglo-european and transatlantic relations.

    The bottom line – Britain has no intention of leaving and is working on achieving its aims in partnership with a friendly and pliable Irish government. It is not necessarily a bad thing that Ireland play along in an intelligent fashion with the game of realpolitik but people should be aware of the real issues involved and should ask at every step if the future being outlined by the likes of Fianna Fail is a future that is necessarily to our advantage as the Irish nation. Personally I don’t have any faith in the likes of Fianna Fail to have the courage or the vision to do what is right for us as a nation.

  • Henry94

    SO

    However…er.. let’s put it this way,if someone started a thread on tiddlywinks you would eventually swing it around to repartition.

    Greenflag is hardly unique in that. Everybody here is pushing their favourite solution. What strikes me is that every time repartition comes up somebody wants the discussion, and now the very word, banned.

    I can understand the strong reaction because repartition means that both the NI state and the Irish republican project have failed. But who could argue that either has been a success.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Again the independent Irish state’s success, a product of it’s independence in Europe and the Global market, the realised potential of sepration from the UK is a physic blow to Unionism. In turn Unionism’s a scramble to present the Republic’s success as temporary, transient or ill-gotten is a holding action. It distracts from reality and a real engagement – as equals – on the subject of a UI.”

    Aw come on now-you’re smarter than that- hiding behind the usual “Unionists are too thick to know what’s good for them” crap.
    Firstly , economics of the present have no bearing on economics of the future. You couldn’t afford us- being such a handoutjunkie culture and all. If the BR Germany is still struggling to assimilate the DDR how do you think you’d cope? And you might be so sure that the Celtic tiger is a permanent phenomenon, but that’s rather a big assumption to hang a decision to change nationality on- one that we’re not going to make.

    You’re quite right that there is a view that Ireland got where it is today by world class playing the poormouth when the EU was handing out the readies- and who can blame us when we’ve seen the gold medal winning MOPEry of nationalists up here?-and I’m sure even you don’t attribute the present growth to the fiscal wizardry of…er Charlie McGreevy alone. Who would have guessed that Garrett Fitzgerald’s economic basketcase would have transformed in such a short time- and who can guarantee it will never fall back again-particularly if you’re crazy enough to put loony Shinners into a coalition next year?

    Your wish to engage on the subject of a UI as equals isn’t a problem. I would even engage as an inferior. But I’m not going to waste my time debating with someone who has only one outcome permitted as the conclusion. Economics will inevitably draw us all closer together, but it won’t change our aspirations or undermine their validity. Even if southern property speculators owned every house in Sandy Row-and it’s getting that way- do you really think that would change the politics of the population? So keep pitching the bid, but you have to significantly up the ante before we’re even slightly interested.

    Look at DK’s very interesting proposal earlier in this thread- effectively giving a Unionist veto on every piece of new legislation going through the Dail-ever! Now that doesn’t ring my bell enough just yet, but I can see that many would see vast opportunities there, that would probably scare every TD half to death. Let us see your pain in sacrificing sacred cows, like you expect us to do.

  • kensei

    “Aw come on now-you’re smarter than that- hiding behind the usual “Unionists are too thick to know what’s good for them” crap.”

    No, just too blinkered, if your post is anything to go by.

    “Firstly , economics of the present have no bearing on economics of the future. You couldn’t afford us- being such a handoutjunkie culture and all. If the BR Germany is still struggling to assimilate the DDR how do you think you’d cope?”

    I think we’d learn the lessons on it and I think the conditions are so vastly different as for the comparisons to be useless.

    “And you might be so sure that the Celtic tiger is a permanent phenomenon, but that’s rather a big assumption to hang a decision to change nationality on- one that we’re not going to make.”

    No one is asking you to change nationality. We are asking to either (i) change government or (ii) change the focus to a different aspect of your identity, depending on your stance on the “I’m as Irish as you” thing. Is the Tiger Permanent? No, that growth rate cannot be sustained forever. but the fact is that rich cuntries tend to stay rich.

    “You’re quite right that there is a view that Ireland got where it is today by world class playing the poormouth when the EU was handing out the readies-”

    And NI got as much if not more money. The Repubic was the one that built a real economy. And the EU handouts are over egged, and valuable fishing rights were given in return. Tired debate.

    “and who can blame us when we’ve seen the gold medal winning MOPEry of nationalists up here?”-

    Honestly darth, I’d thought you’d moved beyond this.

    “and I’m sure even you don’t attribute the present growth to the fiscal wizardry of…er Charlie McGreevy alone. Who would have guessed that Garrett Fitzgerald’s economic basketcase would have transformed in such a short time- and who can guarantee it will never fall back again-particularly if you’re crazy enough to put loony Shinners into a coalition next year?”

    A lot of ifs, there.

    “Your wish to engage on the subject of a UI as equals isn’t a problem. I would even engage as an inferior. But I’m not going to waste my time debating with someone who has only one outcome permitted as the conclusion.”

    The problem is that the facts allow only one outcome. It isn’t just the economics. It is the ability to have a real say in all aspects governemnt in a way we will NEVER have within the UK. The UK is run for the SE of England. Any decisions where it is fuck us, or fuck them, and it comes down to fuck us. A harder trick to pull when you are 205 of the population.

    “Economics will inevitably draw us all closer together, but it won’t change our aspirations or undermine their validity. Even if southern property speculators owned every house in Sandy Row-and it’s getting that way- do you really think that would change the politics of the population? So keep pitching the bid, but you have to significantly up the ante before we’re even slightly interested.”

    No, but what Nationalism should be fdoing for thos epeople is helping them as much a spossible and making a UI a less scary prospect. I don’t ever expect to change their minds. The floaters who do n’t rreally give a shit should be where we are going for.

    “Look at DK’s very interesting proposal earlier in this thread- effectively giving a Unionist veto on every piece of new legislation going through the Dail-ever! Now that doesn’t ring my bell enough just yet, but I can see that many would see vast opportunities there, that would probably scare every TD half to death. Let us see your pain in sacrificing sacred cows, like you expect us to do. ”

    I don’t believe you should get special treatment over and above everyone else (other than say, comparable provisions for Ulster Scots etc). I think that we should have negotiations in the event of 50%+1 and agree on a Constitution that satisfies and protects everyone, symbols that satisfy everyone and Constitutional Arangements that satisfy everyone. No one will get everything they want, but I don’t presume to tell YOU what is you want.

    But once the state is set up, that’s it. You are just like evryone else in terms of the law. there may be cultural protections, o increased links with the Uk or the link, but in terms of law and law making everyone is the same and should be.

    You REALLY need to stop frothing at the mouth, darth.

  • jfd

    Darth: w come on now-you’re smarter than that- hiding behind the usual “Unionists are too thick to know what’s good for them” crap.

    Thanks for replying. Please review my previous post again, I don’t play that card. I simply state that Unionism has lost a main ‘strategic’ elemnet of it’s anti-UI. It can’t hide behind the economic argument anymore. I would argue that its been a ‘physic’ blow – in so much that the mask has droped and often naked hibernopobia emerges. To suggest that Unionists, Unionism are in some way thick are your words not mine.

    Darth: Firstly , economics of the present have no bearing on economics of the future.

    Agreed. But I thought we were discussing the ‘ideological’ changes – the Republic won’t revert behind a ‘Green curtain’ of protectionism.

    Darth: ‘You couldn’t afford us- being such a handoutjunkie culture and all’.

    Oh the irony! I don’t have to respond to this do I?

    Darth: ‘If the BR Germany is still struggling to assimilate the DDR how do you think you’d cope?’

    Congratulations, your grasping. An arguement straight out of 1995. Germany’s social model is restructing it’s growth presently.

    It’s also a massive country in population terms. You cannot compare, like on like. The DDR: a command economy, a political and social leper, a soviet sattilite – an enemy of western democracy.

    BR: a western open economy. Granted the old DDR shares some simularities with NI, but your comparision is weak and flawed.

    ‘And you might be so sure that the Celtic tiger is a permanent phenomenon, but that’s rather a big assumption to hang a decision to change nationality on- one that we’re not going to make’.

    Ooookay. That’s why we have the consent principle in the GFA. I also agree the ‘Celtic Tiger’ (whatever that is) is not a ‘permanent phenomenon’ but again Darth a massive plank of Unionism’s argument was that ‘The South’ was a poor country and economically stagnent – the inference being this was a product of the Irish being economically incompetent and backward. That argument is dead, and if scrambling for insults over EU ‘hand-outs’ is all that’s left – baring the usual anti-Dublin rethoric, than Unionisms is fast becoming as ideological stagant as ‘the South’ economy was in the bad old days.

    You know Darth, denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

  • jfd

    Darth: ‘look at DK’s very interesting proposal earlier in this thread- effectively giving a Unionist veto on every piece of new legislation going through the Dail-ever! Now that doesn’t ring my bell enough just yet, but I can see that many would see vast opportunities there, that would probably scare every TD half to death. Let us see your pain in sacrificing sacred cows, like you expect us to do’.

    Okay. Unionist Veto? They have that already don’t they. it’s called consent, right?

    But on DK’s comments are in the right area. In the negoaitions of a UI Unionists should have a 50-50 say in how a future unified state is created and run. However in a unfied state – as a democrat – I believe in one person one vote, and the ability to convince by rational argument. However if a UI comes about, I would argue there would be apolitical realignment into economically ideological blocs (Right of Centre/Liberalism: UUP/FG/PD/Alliance, Centerist/Social Democrat FF/SDLP/DUP/Labour, Left: SF/SP/SDLP/Loyalist Fringe) paries would broadly retain their Irish or British cultural indeitities but in matters of real-politick, running a modern European state – i believe unionism would be right up there with a Tainste.

    Finally, I am NOT in favor of a UI. I believe however we will have a unitied Island seconomy.

    Firstly

  • Brian Boru

    The Republic is unanimously regarded as vastly better off economically since leaving the UK, which sets a good precedent for how NI would fare in an Independent UI.

  • Greenflag

    Dub,

    ‘ I think you overestimate unionists’ ambition;”

    Perhaps but the R situation will come about probably not by anybody’s ‘ambition’ but by ‘creeping ‘default . At some point during the creep the DUP will ditch the ‘Unionists ‘ west of the Bann .

    ‘ if you read very carefully statements by loyalists and intelligent dupers like gregory campbell then it is obvious yes that they do want their own identity etc amd want to rule themselves…’

    Never mind what they say just watch what they do . Paisley has NEVER had a face to face discussion with the SF leadership and IIRC he was predominantly absent from ‘discussions’ when the SDLP were the main Nationalist party in NI.

    ‘this is possible however in a federal ireland too…’

    A federal Ireland is a nonsense . Ireland is not Canada or the USA . We need to keep out overhead costs low i.e the cost of Government .

    ‘we dont have to conquer them’

    This is out of the question and has never seriously been entertained by any Irish Government . In case you haven’t noticed Northern Ireland is attached to the UK which happens to have nuclear weapons and military forces which dwarf anything ROI could put together .

    ‘or win them over to irish nationalism either.’

    Eh ? I can just imagine the success rate of somebody trying to win me over to Unionism . simply a waste of time .

    ‘they can be themselves in an irish context this is what loyalists have always wanted… thats why for example they opposed Act of Union in 1801.. ‘

    A minority of Protestants opposed the Act of Union mainly in the Belfast and Dublin areas in the late 18th and early 19th century . However the vast majority were only too happy to have the threat of becoming a religious minority in an independent Ireland removed by means of the Act of Union .

    ‘so i am with you in everything you say apart from the form this solution (ie recognising people as they are) can take..’

    Not sure what you mean here but I do recognise people for what they are which is why I recognise the Unionist /Loyalist ‘right’ to self determination just as I recognise the Irish right to self determination . I just happen to believe that the 1920 Border no longer makes any political , economic or demographic/cultural sense and thus needs to be replaced by one which does . That’s all. And I don’t see a power sharing NI Assembly as being anything other than an expensive exercise in futility not to mention it’s alice in wonderland economic foundation . I believe it’s now time for Northern Nationalists to look beyond ‘devolution’ as a solution and instead to look at the big R as the best way to go in order to improve the economic , social and political well being of the Irish people of Northern Ireland . We need to leave the Unionists to be looked after by the DUP and/or it’s ilk either in or outside the UK -their business and the UK’s choice .

  • Greenflag

    Southern Observer .

    The debate on UI/NI /GFA/NI Assembly/Power Sharing / Sunningdale / Anglo Irish Agreement / etc etc etc etc over the past 30 to 40 years can be reduced to 2 sides within NI . Those who favour a UI and those who favour the UK link .

    Now if they can’t agree then it seems to me they need to stop playing ‘tiddlywinks’ and instead take out the map and start dividing whatever is left of the cake .

    ‘I am usually in 90%+ agreement with you’

    So am I 🙂

  • Harry

    Unionists are 15% of the population yet everyone is bending over backwards to kiss their arse. Why? Because they’re armed to the teeth and backed by Britain, which has its own fish to fry. Even Greenflag’s repartition is based upon the threat of unionist and british force, for why should we repartition a jurisdiction run by a bunch of people who are happy to corral the best part of a million nationalists for almost a century but who demand special treatment for themselves when their turn to recognise their minority status has come? These same people refuse the self-same special treatment to nationalists until such time as they become a majority. The only logic at work here is force, not reason.

    British threat and Irish weakness – an old story. As long as Britian remains on this island it will continue.

    That is why violence is always under the surface in Ireland, even into the 21st century. It is the unspoken threat emanating from the british presence on this island. It is a poison, one which has become ever more virulent within unionism commensurate with the degree that unionism’s bullying nature was accomodated and not challenged.

  • Greenflag

    Henry 94,

    ‘I can understand the strong reaction because repartition means that both the NI state and the Irish republican project have failed. ‘

    Wrong on both counts. It would mean that the present 6 county NI State would have failed but not that a successor 2 county sized NI State could not succeed and be politically viable .

    Similarly Irish Republicanism in the 98 sense of a ‘Catholic , Protestant and Dissenter ‘ would have failed but not that a 30 county Irish Republic could not be a success just as the 26 county Republic has been .

  • darth rumsfeld

    “The problem is that the facts allow only one outcome.”

    Hmmmmm.So that’s us snookered then. No need to worry about that pesky parity of esteem or consent principle. Just keep on banging about the lack of validity of Unionism, and that’s bound to convince us.

    “But once the state is set up, that’s it. You are just like evryone else in terms of the law. there may be cultural protections, o increased links with the Uk or the link, but in terms of law and law making everyone is the same and should be.”

    Lucky we were never so unreasonable as to take such a simplistic view as that in 1921 ,eh. Imagine treating the IRA as criminals for seeking to secede from the Union.

    “The Republic is unanimously regarded as vastly better off economically since leaving the UK, which sets a good precedent for how NI would fare in an Independent UI.”

    Too easy. The Republic is regarded as vastly better off since joining the EU,after fifty years of economic of going it on its own when it was a fiscal embarassment. Even the first fifteen years of EEC charidee couldn’t turn around the good ship Hibernia, which lagged behind even wartorn neighbour NI in all the social and econmic indices.For 15 years out of 85 it’s been an economic success. That’s way too early to presume anything.

    “Okay. Unionist Veto? They have that already don’t they. it’s called consent, right?”

    Nope. We have a qualified permanently challenged veto on one, and only one, question, with an unwanted answer. DK kindly offers me a requirement of cross community positive endorsement on every legislative act as a prerequisite to its enactment. So if the truckloads of money for redeveloping Croke park wasn’t given a Unionist bloc majority vote,it wouldnt happen. Loads of room for horsetrading there. Personally I’d need King Billy’s statue back outside Trinity as a starter for ten- and martin mansergh skewered on top of the millenium needle .

    “The only logic at work here is force, not reason.” Henry’s cri de coeur, after a hyperbolic and hatefilled rant is just bound to convince my watery friends of the love and respect which we’re told y’all have for us ( just as long as we recognise that we’re Nazi scum -copyright Father Reid and/or Mary McAleese). Ooooooh!! I feel all giddy to be desired so much by you rough Irish Gaels, just itching to take me by force because deep down I really want to be one with you. Just watch you don’t get a few kicks where it hurts first.

    So, what have we learned today children?
    Well, Henry thinks we need a few slaps to put manners on us. Kensei says there is no alternative to his point of view, and I’m just going to have to lump it- but of course we have the right to consent, just no right to refuse .Brian boru is itching to pay more tax and shift jobs from his area to accommodate his returning brethren- no trouble to him. Sheeesh,such a cornucopia of generous alternatives. It’s just lucky for me that I’m one of those Nazis that’s bad to the bone and can tell you all to go stick your head in a pig without a twinge of decency.

  • Greenflag

    Harry,

    I can agree with most of your comment here ,realpolitik being what it is . However it’s not the threat of British force which persuades me that repartition is preferable to a UI but matters of political identity, demography and history . We need to face the facts and so do Unionists .

    I agree that Unionism should be challenged but to be practical this can only be done by democratic means .

    ‘British threat and Irish weakness – an old story.’

    I agree Harry particularly in relation to overall military and economic power . How could it be otherwise . The former is long established State with a population of 60 million plus . Ireland is a relatively new State with a 4 million population . Obvious.

    ‘As long as Britian remains on this island it will continue. ”

    Wrong Harry . As long as Britain is separated by a strecth of water 12 miles wide in the North and 57 miles in the South this will continue . Britain despite her assurances that she has no selfish interest in Ireland will always be ‘interested’ in who rules in Ireland if not them. Of course now that we are all in the EU that should no longer matter . IIRC the Versailles Treaty was to bring self determination to the ‘nations ‘ of Europe . But then it failed to recognise quite a few ‘nations ‘ most of those ‘nations ‘ being formerly part of the losing Empires -Austro Hungary/Russia /Ottoman . IIRC the Irish were the only ‘nation’ on the ‘winning ‘ side which had it’s ‘self determination’ brushed aside by Imperial might -and anyway it was already ‘agreed’ prior to the War anyway was’nt it ?

    I recommend a read of Margaret MacMillan’s ‘Six months that changed the World ‘ for an insight into how Woodrow Wilson’s idealism foundered on the rocks of european history and instead of bringing about ‘peace’ instead engendered a new war and the rise of totalitarianism .

    And importantly from an Irish perspective how the small nations of Europe were ‘treated’ by the big lads . LLoyd George apparently though a Welshman despised ‘small nations ‘ as being of no consequence and an irritant . Given the world he was born into this should not be surprising . However his Versailles experience gave him a huge advantage over Craig and Collins being able to lie to both at differnt times while professing it to be the truth .

    Plus ca change -2006

  • Greenflag

    Darth,

    ‘It’s just lucky for me that I’m one of those Nazis ‘

    You lose .

    ‘what have we learned today children? ‘

    That the lesson of history is that we learn nothing from history .

  • George

    Darth,
    The Irish Republic has been growing faster than the UK for over 40 years now, not 15. Most Irish people can live with starting from zero and passing out the greatest empire the world has ever seen in the space of a lifetime.

    Looking at Scotland, which is a good comparison as to what we might have been, we’ve lapped them four times in the past 10 years, according to the Conservatives.

    By the way, Northern Ireland has received three times as much money per capita from the EU as the Irish Republic but simply wasted it all.

    If you are a farmer, your lot got the majority of it.

    It gets nearly another 6 billion sterling (nearly 10 billion euros) a year from Westminster and wastes that too. Even if it kept growing as it is, it would take a thousand years to catch up with the rest of the UK and even longer with the Irish Republic.

    But rather than looking at why Northern Ireland is failing to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century or even trying to stop the waste, you seem more concerned with convincing yourself that your world view is right.

    Unionist people like you are the greatest threat to the union.

    In 1972, unionists were crowing about how the Republic was too poor for them to join, now they crow that they are so poor the Republic can’t afford them.

    All this and Northern Ireland has yet to even suffer the indignities of the economic cuts necessary to kickstart the place.

    You remind me of a teenager telling an adult how to live their life. I’ll listen to you when you are out in the real world, paying your way like the rest of us.

  • darth rumsfeld

    george- that’s brilliant.I can’t imagine a better way to smash the Union than …the dreaded condescension-sarcasm-hyperbole-litotes

    “He had all the tricks. I’ve seen grown men bite their own heads off rather than face Doug”..er George

    it must be really annoying. There you are, all smug in your best suit, with a £2.99 bunch of Tesco lilies, and even though the girl’s a bit of a minger, she’s still cast your hopes and dreams of a bright future together into the dirt. So you just stand there on the doorstep, getting redder and redder, and seek solace in smug self-regarding superiority.But this time there aren’t any more fish in the sea,as your mum would undoubtedly want to console you- so it’s home to your collection of “glamour” mags until you pluck up the courage to ask us out again in a month’s time-when…. we can do it all again!

  • smcgiff

    Not really following this thread after the first couple of thousand posts, but that’s funny! 🙂

  • eranu

    a lot of the usual old waffle here, as expected ! 🙂
    in real life you go to work, get paid, and come home and spend your money doing whatever it is you like to do. you dont care what sector you work in. it doesnt really matter if your corner of the country is heavily into one sector or the other.
    the vast majority here prefer to be part of the larger country (UK) over being part of the smaller country (ROI) because its the better option. theres more going on, its just more interesting!
    something the UI brigade never mention is that the ROI is a UK satelite. it looks in on the UK and follows what the UK does. theres no point in stepping outside the UK only to turn round and look back in through the window…
    all the prods know where they’re better off, and im fairly sure that alot more than 25% of the catholics prefer the UK too.

  • smcgiff

    ‘ROI is a UK satelite.’

    By your ROI is a UK satellite definition, the UK is a satellite of the US.

    So, instead of the politically sensitive description, British Isles, we should simply call ourselves the 51st & 52nd states.

    Just don’t forget to tell the queen to keep her hand on her crown as he bows down to Bush.

  • Greenflag

    ‘But rather than looking at why Northern Ireland is failing to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century ‘

    Hang on George -the lads are still trying to adapt to the challenges of the 20th century 🙁

    Accurate post but OTT with the ‘thousand years’ . Based on present numbers, inward investment flows and rate of private sector growth in NI the correct answer would have been
    never . Mere mention of a thousand years gives DR and his ilk room for hope 🙂

    There is no argument about taste . Not even reason .

    Anyway DR is not interested in Tesco lillies. He prefers his English rose and the continuous drip of HMG Exchequer drip feed .

  • Greenflag

    ‘Just don’t forget to tell the queen to keep her hand on her crown as he bows down to Bush.’

    Now that’s even funnier. I was unaware that Queen Liz had undergone serious gender surgery . No wonder she has’nt been able to make it to Dublin for the ‘Visit’ .

  • jd

    ‘even though the girl’s a bit of a minger’

    darth, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

    I don’t believe we’ll ever have a unified state, at least not in the form or shape that ultra- nationalists want. My belief is in the context of greater east-west ‘co-operation’ and greater EU ‘integration’ – UI shouldn’t be an issue. I’m not keen on it myself as I believe NI to be throughly ungovernable from London or Dublin – it’s up to the people of NI to get one with it. An integrated island economy is different matter entirely. I believe a move that would see a harmonization of tax/employment and yes, even the euro being introduced alongside sterling (as a business currency)would benefit NI greatly. But it’s something ’emotional’ unionism has a problem with dealing with without viewing such moves as a slippery slope into a UI (we still haven’t had a rational debate on this issue).

    I fear you’re really not getting this fact -despite the facts, despite the figures.

    Has the economic argument for NOT joining a UI been weakened by the republics success?

    you thrown a half baked, spurious, ‘economic ideology’ argument at us. You’ve utilized the usual post-celtic tiger ‘e.u. handout’ argument (even though we are now net contributors to the eu… incidently when exactly will NI start paying it’s own way?.

    But you yet to tackle the issue at hand for unionists: Has the economic argument for NOT joining a UI been weakened by the republics success?

    Take the sentiment out of the equation and what appears to be your own hiberno-phobia and answer that question… go on, I know you can do it!

  • smcgiff

    D’oh!

  • darth rumsfeld

    I remember once being told the ideal solution to our wee stramash was to make NI the 51st state of the union. As that country is currently led by a right-wing Christian fundamentalist with a simplistic geopolitical worldview it seems a very attractive to me and my Unionist chums, but don’t worry , mes amis nationalistes- wait but a few years and you may have Hillary as Pres.Yuk!

    Our 2 senators? Why – Peter Punt and Gerry. And Governor IRK Paisley in the Hillsborough gubernatorial residence. Of course there would be a lot fewer politicians, but the travel claim to Washington would be a sweetener.Plus- best of all we get to elect our Judges- I’m for Hang Em High Jim Allister – and we can play an obscure sport ignored by the rest of the world..er like Gaelic really. We can indulge our warlike tendencies in a real army with loads of faraway enemies-it’ll be great.And….we can all look down on the Brits- so why are we waiting…
    Hail to the Chief…..

  • George

    Darth,
    it’s not hyperbole I’m afraid. Northern Ireland has indeed wasted that much EU and Westminster money and since 1997 it’s GNI percentage with the UK has gone from 79% to 79.2% so we are talking the guts of a thousand years to bridge the gap.

    On your minger analogy.
    I’m pointing out to you that everyone is treating you like a minger because of the way you act.

    You are a kept woman on the turn, ever more desperately plastering your face in the hope of maintaining your master’s affections as you sense you aren’t doing it for him like you used to. When that doesn’t work you threaten to make his life a misery.

    And your only response when I point this out to you is to tell me you won’t drop your bag of chips for me.

    Maybe you really are just a minger who can’t handle the truth and My Fair Lady really was just make believe.

    I don’t want to bed this particular minger, it’s just she happens to live on my road.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I don’t want to bed this particular minger,’

    Why? What minger do you prefer!

  • lib2016

    Twentyfive years ago NATO early warning devices were installed in the South just about the time Mrs. Thatcher mysteriously decided to involve Dublin in the North. A decade ago Clinton pushed the Agreement in order to sort out a running sore and there is likely to be a Democrat administration in the White House after their next election.

    The Agreement will be up and running long before that, with or without unionist support.

    As for all this nonsense about voting figures for the two communities? Check the age profile of the unionist electorate. The kids already at school are the people who will build a New Ireland – together.

    Britain is a major niche market for Irish goods but no more than that. The EU is the largest economic bloc on the planet and hopefully globilisation will continue to evolve. Ireland as a relatively compact unit can change swiftly to meet changing markets.

    Britain is still plugging away in an ever more competitive arms market with all she has left of her smokestack industries, and has far too much inperial baggage left lying around the world from the days of No Dogs, No Chinese. The future lies with the new democracies.

  • eranu

    smcgiff, if you look around at society in ROI you’ll see most of the UK high street stores. you’ll be watching sky or ntl digital, broadcasting premiership football and the same programmes to ‘the uk & ireland’. you’ll be eating the same products from the supermarket etc etc…
    ive worked in many large companies here in dublin and many of them have their senior managers based in england. there is a stream of management going back and forth.

    there is so much of the UKs ‘things’ in ROI that its almost as if it never left the UK 🙂

  • George

    smcgiff,
    I never like rule to anything or anything out. One man’s minger is another man’s muse 🙂

    But when, on your way home from work, you have this particular minger in her dressing gown screaming at you how she wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot bargepole even if you offer her all the tea in China, you have to make clear you’re not interested.

    It’s only when you get home and find her paymaster trying to pawn her off on the side for a few greasy shillings that you realise why she is being so hysterical.

    Hell hath no fury like a minger spurned.

  • smcgiff

    eranu,

    Do you really want me to start on how Americano the UK is? Perhaps you’ve become desensitised, and genuinely don’t realise.

    The way I look at it is we get the best of the UK, America & Europe while remaining separate to enjoy our own peccadilloes.

    To say the ROI is the same as the UK is not to really understand the UK itself. Contrast Cornwall to Birmingham. The Hebrides to Chelsea. The UK itself is going through an identity crisis which MAY eventually hit the ROI, but it’s not there yet.

    As I’ve said before, the UK is a great great country, but with 60+ million people it can at times ignore its outer bastions, whether that be NI, Scotland Wales or Northern England. It would certainly include the ROI if it were still part of the UK.

  • dantheman

    DR,

    Don’t worry about all this pandering to unionists. Its only a distraction to push throught the rest of the reunification agenda on the quiet.

    Then at the right moment, we’ll throw you into a concentration camp.
    A concnetration camp for mingers!!!

  • smcgiff

    ‘It’s only when you get home and find her paymaster trying to pawn her off on the side for a few greasy shillings that you realise why she is being so hysterical.’

    Although, we’re already at the stage were the Pimp thinks his property is looking the worse for wear and wants rid. He’s already started to beat her up a little, but she still thinks being with a pimp is better than going straight. Sad, cause she was once so pretty in her youth!

    But, hark! Her old boy friend is handing out pictures of her from her senior class photo to the other streetwalkers. He wants to take her back to his home town! *sniff*.

    Alas, she secretly doesn’t think she’s good enough, and when her old boyfriend finally finds her she slings insults and hurtful words to ward him off, before slinking back to her ungrateful pimp for another night’s degrading. But, before she walks off the boyfriend holds out his hand beseechingly yet again. She turns, her breath catches, she looks him in the eye and says…

  • kensei

    “Hmmmmm.So that’s us snookered then. No need to worry about that pesky parity of esteem or consent principle. Just keep on banging about the lack of validity of Unionism, and that’s bound to convince us.”

    I never mentioned lack of validity of anything.

    “Lucky we were never so unreasonable as to take such a simplistic view as that in 1921 ,eh. Imagine treating the IRA as criminals for seeking to secede from the Union.”

    Of course, in 1921, you didn’t treat Catholics as equals. You treated them as inferiors. Which is the point. The UK also lacks any kind of Constitutional protections, and Catholics didn’t get any say in how the state would be set up. SO it is complete not the same thing at all.

    “Too easy. The Republic is regarded as vastly better off since joining the EU,after fifty years of economic of going it on its own when it was a fiscal embarassment. Even the first fifteen years of EEC charidee couldn’t turn around the good ship Hibernia, which lagged behind even wartorn neighbour NI in all the social and econmic indices.For 15 years out of 85 it’s been an economic success. That’s way too early to presume anything.”

    The world moves faster these days. And as I have said before: Rich states stay rich. There are very, very few examples of states that go backward in the fashion you are descringing. New Zealands GDP dropped somewhat, but even then it remains a rich nations. And quit the “EU sponging” bit, it has beem dealth with here already, and you are very, very wrong. Nothing new to add? Then let it go.

    “Nope. We have a qualified permanently challenged veto on one, and only one, question, with an unwanted answer. DK kindly offers me a requirement of cross community positive endorsement on every legislative act as a prerequisite to its enactment. So if the truckloads of money for redeveloping Croke park wasn’t given a Unionist bloc majority vote,it wouldnt happen. Loads of room for horsetrading there. Personally I’d need King Billy’s statue back outside Trinity as a starter for ten- and martin mansergh skewered on top of the millenium needle .”

    So you wouldn’t prefer a healthy normal democracy then? Says a lot, when it’s all about being elevated above everyone else.

    “Henry’s cri de coeur, after a hyperbolic and hatefilled rant is just bound to convince my watery friends of the love and respect which we’re told y’all have for us”

    So the criteria for entry into a UI iis now every man, woman and child on the island must love you?

    “( just as long as we recognise that we’re Nazi #### -copyright Father Reid and/or Mary McAleese).”

    And you have the cheek to talk about other people’s ranting?

    “Kensei says there is no alternative to his point of view, and I’m just going to have to lump it- but of course we have the right to consent, just no right to refuse .”

    Which isn’t what I said. Ypou were blathering about alternatives. I see no reaosn why I should view monarchy and lack of say in government as an appropriate alternative. The facts simply point somewhere else.

  • lib2016

    smcgiff,

    Your post 14 is excellent. There seems to be no forward thinking by unionists on the threats to their position from within the UK. Not liking a UI is no longer enough. If unionists want to continue resisting powersharing then they have to offer a plausible alternative.

    Their refusal to do so would indicate that they have not been able to find any position except constant opposition, which would explain the rise of the DUP who tend to be a one trick pony in that regard.

  • smcgiff

    Lib2016,

    In fairness to unionists, their intransigence held them in good stead for 60 to 70 years. So, you can imagine how hard it would be for them to change.

    We shouldn’t underestimate the guilt factor either. They’ve been brought up by staunch elders who KNEW they were better off (if not simply better) than those in the Republic, and so will not want to disappoint their memory by joining the Republic i.e. surrendering.

    It may all become academic. There may no longer be a Great Britain for them to cling in the not too distant future. We’d then find out if they really want to cut their nose off to spite their face by choosing an independent NI!

  • Greenflag

    George

    ‘I don’t want to bed this particular minger, it’s just she happens to live on my road. ‘

    There’s many a man who after a number of pints has bedded a good looking ‘minger’ only to wake up with an ugly oul whore . Might I suggest that NI in it’s present economic and political state resembles more the latter than the former . It’s less expensive and healthier to stay away from the pints and the mingers -IMO .

    Hailstones to the chief etc .

  • lib2016

    An independent NI is even less likely than repartition despite the fantasies of certain politicans here who still revere the memory of Smithy and Rhodesian UDI. That may have a lot to do with the age of so many unionist politicans, of course.

    The options are running out but I genuinely do not see how the DUP will be able to enter real powersharing. Like most nationalists I have absolutely no problem with East-West relationships on a basis of equality but the dependence expressed earlier on this thread is amazing not to mention being slightly creepy when one realises how unpopular unionists are in modern Britain.

  • dub

    eranu,

    I’m sorry but your post is so delusional it is scary… look just travel out of derry city and go the salubrious villages of Magheramason, New Buildings and Sion Mills for example, then check out Claudy, Ballykelly and Limavady.

    Then go across the border to Buncrana and Letterkenny… then you will see with jaw dropping certainty which “country” has more going on…. believe me the comparison is EXTREMELY painful for NI… what really amazes me is the sheer blindness of many northerners to this… or perhaps you like mind numbing towns and villages where you would be lucky to find one decent cafe of restaurant never mind pub never mind anything actually going on… check out Castlerock while you are at it which one breathless local described to me as beautiful… it is a run down shit hole…

    sorry to be so graphic but the north cyprus like torpor of the north really needs to be brought home to some people especially those who have the misfortune to live there..

    Derry city itself… well go and look at it and then perhaps compare it to Galway, Similar size, similar peripheral location… that comparison is so embarrassing I suggest perhaps that you don’t make it….

  • Crataegus

    Just visited a friend who has been confined to a wheel chair since someone tried to kill him so some of this is slightly acidic.

    With regards the economy, I wouldn’t for one minute pretend that the picture is good, its not, but I do believe it is not as bad as many choose to make out. If for example you take my own personal activity this would probably show up in statistics for London even though much of it in the past was in the North. I am very sure there are quite a few like me who live in London, Edinburgh or wherever. You are taking one region out of the UK economy and there can be all sorts of distortions. What’s the Economy of Kerry like? That said its not good.

    I also think Southerns and Republicans choose to deny the extent of the damage done by the armed struggle. There is no doubt in my mind that the carnage had a major impact on the local economy. Would any of you have invested here? I have seen countless millions spent rebuilding fire bombed shops, bombed town centres, on compensation claims etc. Businesses destroyed and closed and others that left not to mention the lives ruined. Have you ever tried to run a business that has been bombed a few times or when you are being targeted by hoodlums? Have you ever had to travel about in hired cars which you constantly change or live in various houses with relations etc? Have any of you, because it is really inconvenient. At one time my family had to move to England, had to, not choose to. Have you any idea just how disruptive this sort of circumstance is? If the South went through what the North has economically it would be down there with Biafra or Peru. 30 years of utterly pointless psychopathic carnage all in the name of mother Ireland, utter disgrace and for what. The politics of the thug, agree to our terms (Loyalist or Nationalist) or we will kill you. Add to this the collusion and the buying off of criminals and understandably there is much bitterness. The place needs time to heal and the economy is starting from a low level. It takes years before improvements become more noticeable.

    I think it would be easy enough to turn the economy around, but to do it needs political focus (utterly lacking) and placing matters economic up the list of considerations (not seriously considered). However to kick start the economy would require a package of measures that is unlikely to happen with the current level of devolved powers and within a united Ireland context we would also be bound by the limits of the tax system there and with a smaller economic base to fund the interim period. Other economic models or combinations may be more effective for the North than work in the South. Union could be an economic disaster for both parts of this island.

    The other problem is the Neanderthal view that some have on the economics in the North. A sort of economic version of the blanket protest. Do nothing positive to make the place work, run it down and contribute nothing. Sit and fester in your own excrement and bring it crashing down. However what this group fails to realise is that the economy of NI has to improve before there is a United Ireland for in its current state it will be a real and substantial burden on the Irish economy. Talk of up lift and releasing energy and all that has to happen now in preparation and with that purpose rather than the negative approach. The attitude should be we are going to make this place work in preparation for a united Ireland. If Nationalists took that sort of positive approach they would start to win wider support. Even separate it is in our interests that the South does well and in the South’s interest if the North is doing well. No one gains if either does poorly. This place has got to be made to work it should be the priority for everyone.

  • dantheman

    dub,

    spot on.
    another nice comparison would be portadown and kilkenny!

    eranu,
    stay off the crack

  • lib2016

    Crataejus,

    The modern NI entrepreneur is likely to have green tinged politics and to be looking much wider than a restricted British market.

    When unionists were in charge for the first twenty years of NI existence they ran the economy into the ground and had to be saved, first by war profiteering then by subsidies from London.

    The unionist economy is, or at least recently was, security based, and to a lesser extent in manufacturing where there are difficulties because of our remote location and lack of resources.

    It would be interesting to know where what little growth there is stems from.

    That said you make good points without referring to the needless waste of nationalist resources for so long. Your arguments are two-edged.

    Must go!

  • Greenflag

    Crataegus ,

    The Kerry economy is doing fine . They’ve just won another All Ireland 🙁

    Although there is a lot of truth in what you say re the effects on the economy of violence and it’s particular effect on the NI economy I believe that that is only a part of the story . The Irish Republic had no violence between 1923 and 1957 and our economic performance during that period was way below the european average .

    More important for economic growth to take place is social and political cohesion at least in modern times . The ‘correct’ policies which can attract investment from outside while at the same time increasing local entreprenuership . That and relatively low taxation , world class educational standards , health care , and longer term constitutional stability would seem to be the main ingredients .Too much Government is as bad if not worse than too little .

    Getting the right formula is difficult and what’s also important is to make changes to the ‘formula’ as the world economy grows . The reason why FF/PD will win the upcoming election in ROI is beause people instinctively feel they have got the right ‘formula’ despite some negative side effects. The reason why there will not be an SF/DUP success formula in NI is because the chemistry is not there -neither is the trust and all either party wants is it’s share of the ‘present’ subvention loot to dole out to it’s own supporters .

    Wish I could be more positive but truth will out on Novem 24th .

  • Crataegus

    Greenflag

    The reason why there will not be an SF/DUP success formula in NI is because the chemistry is not there -neither is the trust and all either party wants is it’s share of the ‘present’ subvention loot to dole out to it’s own supporters .

    Small minded politicians eyes fixed on their own navels. Well you know my views on the political class in NI. Bunch of wasters.

  • dub

    crataegus,

    your post very thoughtful and spot on… i have met a number of northern nationalists who for example fall into your category of just sitting around…. (im sure this equally if not more applies to “other” community…

    first time i went to derry (city) i have to say i was just shocked…i thought i had been beamed back into the seventies…

    an awful lot of things culturally and economically and spiritually are going to have to change before a ui… and standard of local politicians is in general lamentable…

    what summed it up most for me was a nationalist who with a mixture of disparagement and envy said the “south” was now far too european for her liking and she did not want derry to change…!!!!! this kind of thing is quite prevalent.. they seem to think the depressing soviet economy they are used to can go on forever cut off from rest of world.. just like unionists thought stormont would last forever… like o’neill’s ni in the 60’s i fear that today’s ni may be in for a very rude awakening…

  • DK

    This is starting to get surreal. The Souths economy is good, but the Norths has also improved recently. Both are better. Everyone is better off. If one had been going down then that would be important, but both are getting better; as is the UK economy and finally Europe as well. And there is enough regional variation even in Ireland that comparing North with South is too broad a brush. Why not compare Dublin with Limerick; or Belfast with Cork? A rank of prosperity would be headed by Dublin, but would then have a mix of Northern and Southern towns.

    We are all fortunate to be in an age of prosperity. I don’t really think the economy has ever been an arguement for uniting the island or keeping it apart. The main problem is identity, and the dearth of any, even half hearted, plans to unite ireland suggest that the issue is a (long) dead duck. Who could be arsed? What’s the point? North and South are both doing rather well at the moment.

    I haven’t seen one attempt by any nationalist/republican or even unionist to say how they would attempt reunification. There has only been the usual re-partition suggestion, which the government of the Republic would reject out of hand – Ireland get strabane while Britain keeps Bangor! Not a fair trade at all.

    I have suggested that any reunification plan would probably have to emulate the Good Friday Agreement. Wouldn’t that go down like a shit-sandwitch in Leinster House.

  • Crataegus

    Dub

    Throughout history there are those that resist change. We are all guilty of it in one way or another. You tend to notice it most with planning applications but it can be our ideas on culture or a traditional education or the proper way to do things or behave. I suppose we value the familiar as it gives us our sense of security and place. But I agree with you change is almost inevitable and for some it may not be too pleasant.

    I like reading history in a general sort of way and not getting bogged down in exact dates and exactly who did what so much as just looking at how opinion, culture and values change and how something quite small can plant the seeds for some thing great. How an idea, a piece of technology or a book can so radically change outlook in the coming century. Or how something unexpected can completely upend the accepted order of society.

    We are living in a world that is rapidly changing and it amazes me how anyone can have set views on the state of Ireland 10 or 25 years from now. Look what has happened in the last 25 years, rise of China, fall of the Soviet Union, Thatcherite economics, global communications, expansion of the EU, greater mobility of peoples. Our way of looking at many issues now is very different from what it was in say the late 70s.

    Yet when we look at Ireland our outlooks seem to be frozen in time. They have remained unchanged for over 80 years. We forget that in that time there has been divergence and all sorts of mundane differences like road signs, educational differences etc. We seem to have set our vision on one model of utopia and failed to ask what really matters?

    I personally don’t care a toss if there is a UI, UK, western isles federation, Independent Ulster or if we are part of the United States or form a kingdom with Iceland provided we have reasonable Health Care, a good Educational system and reasonable pensions. I don’t want to belong to a state where the poor starve. Freedom of opinion and freedom of movement I prize.

    There are views I hold, but I am not going to get upset and throw a tantrum if they don’t happen. For me what matters in a society is that everyone is treated fairly and as equally as possible, and no one tries to force others to be what they are not. Society has to be flexible and inclusive, but equally in that inclusive society we cannot opt out. We have to support that society and accept its limitations and constrain our disagreements to debate and democratic process otherwise it is not rule by democracy but rule by threat. Our actions destroy the possibility for democracy and inclusivity.

    It is probably really naive of me, but my way of looking at things is essentially practical, OK we have disagreements, but why not in the mean time get on with things that we agree on and move forward with common purpose for a while, and perhaps, just perhaps, through that help create better understanding and appreciation of each others aspirations and fears.

  • dub

    yes crataegus i agree….

    my only point in relation to the north (i too whilst being a nationalist and aspiring to a ui etc etc could live with many possible futures provided democratic) is its sheer underperformance and the likelihood of worse to come… i really do disagree with poster above when he talks about prosperity in a mix of northern and southern towns… i will take one “southern” town, Carlingford in Co. Louth.. an exceptionally pretty, vibrant and prosperous small place with a real sense of community and a very irish and european if you like atmosphere.. almost mediterranean but still true to itself… i have seen this town transformed almost beyond belief in the last 20 years… i have never in my travels in the six counties come across ANY village or town REMOTELY like it… altho i stand to be corrected… i have not been to every town and village in the 6.. but i hope you get my point… the sheer lack of elan, bad planning and sheer dreariness of the north is a wonder to behold and the lack of a feeling of cohesiveness in the small towns and villages… and the lack of ambition.. god i could go on but for me who actually now lives there a lot of the time it really does depress me and i never cease to be amazed by the lack of awareness of this in the north… years of violence and a deep seated dependency culture have done terrible damage…

  • Crataegus

    Dub

    There is no doubt that decades of war have caused damage. Just across from Carlingford in Warrenpoint there was once a really nice eating place can’t remember its name but fine stair and a bit of character. It was torched. Smithfield Market Belfast torched, Hotels etc bombed, business owners targeted, in some areas anyone of the wrong religion targeted in an attempt at ethnic cleansing. You take this sort of activity week after week and it really makes an impact both on the physical environment and peoples attitudes. No wonder there is a lack of trust. Your whole outlook becomes defensive and your considerations are more about safety than good business practice. I know people who when moving into a building first upgrade the security. CCTV, intercoms and all that. Rather than inviting customers in they are making it more difficult for them.

    Lisburn on a Saturday is a self confident sort of place but many towns have deeply divided communities and just not at ease with themselves. Some of it is a mess and it will take a while before progress is made. My favourite example is North Belfast.

    From a planning point of view some dreadful town planning North and South. In the North the Building Control system is much better and as a result I think the general standard of construction is higher, but that’s a different issue.

    Time will tell on this one.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Alas, she secretly doesn’t think she’s good enough, and when her old boyfriend finally finds her she slings insults and hurtful words to ward him off, before slinking back to her ungrateful pimp for another night’s degrading. But, before she walks off the boyfriend holds out his hand beseechingly yet again. She turns, her breath catches, she looks him in the eye and says…

    Posted by smcgiff on Sep 20, 2006 @ 05:05 PM”

    OK OK I know I started this, but really the truth is….

    The old boyfriend has always been a bit of a culchie, with all the social skills of a mad cow.Minger she may be, but that’s only because this gulpin and his family have recently wrecked her house and maltreated her and her family. Recently he won big at the bookies and bought a new suit and an indoor toilet. But he still has no manners and nothing to offer except the big wad of cash sticking out of his back pocket. He’s doesn’t recognise that he was an abuser, so he’ll abuse again.

    What’s she going to say? “Go back to yer sheep!”

    “The modern NI entrepreneur is likely to have green tinged politics and to be looking much wider than a restricted British market.

    When unionists were in charge for the first twenty years of NI existence they ran the economy into the ground and had to be saved, first by war profiteering then by subsidies from London.

    The unionist economy is, or at least recently was, security based, and to a lesser extent in manufacturing where there are difficulties because of our remote location and lack of resources.”

    Can’t argue with most of that lib.Only that if there was no terrorism there would have been no security industry, so they might have diversified into something else of necessity.

    Kensei,I’vve laboured through your appalling spelling and grammar to find your point-apart from “Themmuns can’t be right”.Let’s have some examples of not treating RCs as equals in 1921 please. That would be the community that had 1/3 of the RUC reserved for it, that had NI’s first Lord Chief Justice, that had equal rights to acquire property,find work, vote as everyone else etc etc. RCs had the same say in the setting up of NI that everyone else had- the vote. They had the same constitutional protections as everyone else- the courts, habeas corpus etc.And don’t give us a list of atrocities, or examples of social deprivation- we all know they happened, but they are not the same as institutional dircrimination that you allege. Irish people suffered much in Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester-all rong, but not institutional nor an argument that the United Kingdom was an invalid construct.

    “So you wouldn’t prefer a healthy normal democracy then? Says a lot, when it’s all about being elevated above everyone else.”

    I do. You have to offer me something better- DK has at least tried. You just tell me your truth is the only truth.Smart.

    Ho hum. That’e enough of my boss’s time wasted this morning-back to work

  • smcgiff

    So, Darth, it’s a choice between the Pimp and the culchie, abusive boyfriend. What gaiety is in store!

    Oh, and as for terrorism being the reason why NI is an economic Sloth, well, terrorism would be a factor, but NI was an industrialised economy and would most likely have entered a slump in the information age anyway.

    Lucky for NI, at least 44% had no other alternative but to get a decent education and should be able to help ye out!

  • kensei

    “Kensei,I’vve laboured through your appalling spelling and grammar to find your point-apart from “Themmuns can’t be right””

    I type fast and loose so make no guarentees on my spelling. So you get the standard response for people who criticise it on the internet: fuck off and die. The only reaosn to do it is to come across as sneerigly superior. Cock.

    “Let’s have some examples of not treating RCs as equals in 1921 please. That would be the community that had 1/3 of the RUC reserved for it, that had NI’s first Lord Chief Justice, that had equal rights to acquire property,find work, vote as everyone else etc etc. RCs had the same say in the setting up of NI that everyone else had- the vote. They had the same constitutional protections as everyone else- the courts, habeas corpus etc.And don’t give us a list of atrocities, or examples of social deprivation- we all know they happened, but they are not the same as institutional dircrimination that you allege.”

    Yeah. NI was great state to live in for Catholics between 1921 and 1970! Unionist rule was absolutely perfect! My eyes have been opened! We must have dreamed the discrimination, the supression of voting rights, the triumphalist OO, the gerrymandering, the oppressive police service.

    “Irish people suffered much in Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester-all rong, but not institutional nor an argument that the United Kingdom was an invalid construct.”

    It really isn’t the same. The full weight of the state wasn’t leveraged to keep one group in their place in the fashion it was done here. Moreover, I have plenty of other beefs with the UK – an unwritten Constitution isn’t worth the paper it is written on, Monarchy disgusts me and we are such a small part of the population as to be statistically insignificant, for starters.

    “I do. You have to offer me something better- DK has at least tried. You just tell me your truth is the only truth.Smart.”

    I am offering you something better. I am offering you to help draw up the Constitution of the state, it’s symbols and how it is run. Once you’ve done that though, I see no reason why should you be treated different from anyone else. If you are discriminated against you can appeal to the courts. Unionism as a block would have more than enough political power and it is inconceivable it wouldn’t get it’s share of judges and police. The thing about “better” than democracy, is that is always worse.

    No, I’m telling you that if you want me to keep my mind open to other options, they can’t be having a government run for another country, or an unwritten Constitution where the government can shit on your rights by say, introducing ID Cards. I will simply never be convinced they are anything other than absolutely appalling ideas.

  • eranu

    dub / dantheman. you’re comparing ROI to NI, not ROI to UK. but dont let that stop you..

    dub, you describe Carlingford as ‘almost mediterranean’ LOL 🙂

  • darth rumsfeld

    “The full weight of the state wasn’t leveraged to keep one group in their place in the fashion it was done here”
    Proof please. Noone would seriously deny NI 1921-1970 was a backwoods sterile society with little for the poor, women, the young, or the sick either, but this kind of gushing MOPEry is just not sustainable. Gerrymandering, for instance, was not a 6 county phenomenon.Everyone who could discriminate did so- Prods didn’t get too many council houses in Newry. The scandal was that HMG left us alone to pick at our own scabs for 50 years
    And we do have a written constitution- it’s just not written in one place.

    “I am offering you something better. I am offering you to help draw up the Constitution of the state, it’s symbols and how it is run.”

    OK.You want to trade. I want a constitutional monarchy, headed by the House of Windsor. I want a union with the other British isles, and full representation in one parliament in London for all. The flag can be ..oh, I dunno.. a combination of the Scottish, and Irish saltires and the English cross. As due recognition of our region’s proud history I’ll have the harp and crown on our police and army uniforms.Sterling’s a nice easy currency to handle.

    Now you have the right to consent to that, but not to refuse- like me under the GFA. In return, I’ll be the first one tearing down the signs at the border.

    “it’s a choice between the Pimp and the culchie, abusive boyfriend. What gaiety is in store!”

    He’s not a pimp- he’s more a sort of elderly neighbour bloke who married out of duty and has probably long since lost what limited passion he initially had for the relationship, but wouldn’t want to upset the applecart and have me throw a strop if he decided to change things.The house is probably a bit musty and could do with a makeover, but we’re both used to it ,and are appalled by yer man the culchie’s OTT decor of pink flock wallpaper in the bathroom.

  • hotdogx

    It makes me laugh how most of the unionist posters on this site try to convince us that NI was always an equal society, this is such nonsense and proof that unionists are still unable to admit that the partition of ireland was illegal, was a disaster and UNDEMOCRATIC, and remeber we were threatend with war by the british if we didnt agree to partition.

    The republic after partition took a few years to settle down, but certainly by 1949 the new republic cherished all the people of the nation equally. The republic has succeded in this and today protestants are among the strongest supporters of our state. This has never happened in NI as almost half the population want out.

    The proclamation http://www.iol.ie/~dluby/proclaim.htm
    is an interesting piece and still holds true today and has probably never been read by most unionists who before partition considered themeselves irish or anglo irish. Today these people refer to temselves as british. If they are not borne in britain or dont have a parent borne in britain then they are as irish as i am. When people from NI go to the UK people there refer to them as Irish and don’t consider them as British. Partition has brought abot a false British identity that has divided the country. Unionists even Ian Paisley are Irish they just havent come to terms with that fact.

    Getting back to the point of this thread i believe that the election results are the most important to look at regarding UI support in NI.
    The gap between the unionist vote and the nationalist vote has been closing more quickly in the past althought the gap is still closing.
    The vote is now 43% nationalist parties at most. If or when this goes above 50% we will have a nationalist led government in NI.This wont mean a UI the day it happens as not all people who vote nationalist support a UI 100% but it doesn’t scare them from voting nationalist. A nationalist NI government will break down the boarder piece by piece much like dev broke uk links in the early days of the republic. When more than 50% of the people are either in favour or not opposed to a UI it won’t be long happening. Fianna fail will soon enter NI politics and where they go other irish parties will follow. Most people by that stage will realise that what happens in Dublin is alot more imoportant than what happens in London. There is always resistance to change. For alot of people the NI statelet has be come a “comfortable situation” like old leather. It is a situation they have come to tolerate and accept rather than taking a risk and trying for something better.

  • kensei

    “Proof please. Noone would seriously deny NI 1921-1970 was a backwoods sterile society with little for the poor, women, the young, or the sick either, but this kind of gushing MOPEry is just not sustainable.”

    I do think it is. If you’re not prepared to come into the exciting new world of the sixties, nevermind the new century. I’m not prepared not hold your hand.

    “Gerrymandering, for instance, was not a 6 county phenomenon.Everyone who could discriminate did so- Prods didn’t get too many council houses in Newry. The scandal was that HMG left us alone to pick at our own scabs for 50 years”

    Whataboutery. You managed to do both the Unionist fantasies “This was a great wee place” and 2It was all the same for Prods anyway”.

    “And we do have a written constitution- it’s just not written in one place.”

    No, the UK doesn’t. Parliament is supreme. ANY Act can be repealed or amended by Parliament. Any right you have right this minute, vcan be taken away by that process. Laws declared unlawful do not cease to be the way they do in a Constitutional Democracy. I find that situation abhorrent.

    “OK.You want to trade. I want a constitutional monarchy, headed by the House of Windsor. I want a union with the other British isles, and full representation in one parliament in London for all. The flag can be ..oh, I dunno.. a combination of the Scottish, and Irish saltires and the English cross. As due recognition of our region’s proud history I’ll have the harp and crown on our police and army uniforms.Sterling’s a nice easy currency to handle.”

    Fuck, not even going to bother. Though I do believe the word “trade” was in there, which isn’t actually what you were discussing.

  • Greenflag

    Crataegus,

    ‘Well you know my views on the political class in NI. Bunch of wasters. ‘

    Indeed and I’m guilty of the same view . However the unpalateable fact of life is that NI’s local politicians have ‘evolved’ in the NI political environment . To survive in a tribally divided ‘rat cage ‘ you cannot be seen to be ‘soft’ on your tribes ‘political objective’ or the others -themuns . Of course there are those in the SDLP and UUP who occassionally try to ‘reach out’ . But they have seen the result in political terms -one party heading for extinction with the other heading in the same direction .

    NI is littered with the political corpses of those who reached out too far to the other side. From Captain O’Neill to Gerry Fitt to the Women’s Coalition /Peace People to the decent but going nowhere Alliance Party. A kind of political Darwinism in reverse with the survival of the unfittest (at least from a modern political european perspective ) .

    So it seems to me that the above harsh political facts of life are not amenable to change within the context of the present NI State. They may be moderated over time by Direct Rule but that’s about it . This is why I believe that without a change in the present constitutional make up of NI – those harsh political facts of life will remain .

  • Greenflag

    Crataegus .

    ‘It is probably really naive of me, but my way of looking at things is essentially practical’

    Yes it is naive and it’s also practical 🙂 It’s even common sense which as we all know is uncommon particularly when any attempt is made to apply it in the highly charged partisan political environment of NI.

    ‘OK we have disagreements, but why not in the mean time get on with things that we agree on and move forward with common purpose for a while, and perhaps, just perhaps, through that help create better understanding and appreciation of each others aspirations and fears.’

    Sounds good but you’ll probably have to do this without the direct involvement of NI’s local politicians . In fact that may already be happening . There is no great public outcry about the potential loss of the NI Assembly apart from media hype emanating from both Governments . Perhaps the people may be ahead of the local politicians ?

  • Greenflag

    Crataegus ,

    Your post no 5 would strike a positive chord with most people in ROI apart from that bit about not personnally giving a toss about a UI or UK . I still believe that most people here would prefer a UI but are not prepared to
    ,

    a) Die for it
    b) Pay for it ( beyond the basics)
    c) Are not keen on spending a lot of time and/or energy in pursuing a UI. This will again be seen in the ‘priority’ rating given to NI matters in our upcoming election . NI will be far down the list behind -Housing – Health -and Immigration .

    Dub ,

    ‘ years of violence and a deep seated dependency culture have done terrible damage’

    I agree . Even those areas not affected directly by the violence have ‘absorbed’ the negative influence of both the ‘violence’ and the dependency culture .

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Parliament is supreme. ANY Act can be repealed or amended by Parliament. Any right you have right this minute, vcan be taken away by that process”

    And any parlaiment that removes my rights can be removed by the electorate, as opposed to a constitution interpreted by state appointed unaccountable judges with alltheir baggage and prejudices.

    “not even going to bother. Though I do believe the word “trade” was in there, which isn’t actually what you were discussing.”

    See? I was prepared to name my price for a United Ireland but you ran scared at the first realisation of the possible symbolic cost- and I hadn’t even started on moving the capital to Belfast . Nationalism personified- all mouth and no trousers.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Nationalism personified- all mouth and no trousers. ‘

    As opposed to Unionism personified –

    Cleric led -all mouth – bare arsed economics – and dependency addicted .

  • dub

    eranu,

    we were talking about merits of a ui if u remember and u said in your post that as far as you were concerned unionists were happier bing in uk and it is more exciting etc…

    now ni is in the uk and we are talking about whether that bit of the uk ie ni would be better off in ui or in uk… so i compared ni as it is now in the uk and roi as it is not in the uk… we were not talking about whole of uk joining with ireland to form one country now were we???

    and looking at ni and roi it is absolutely undeniable which one is more prosperous exciting etc.. i was comparing the 2 parts of ireland..

    having lost your point you are bing disingenuous… i agree that parts of gb are very exciting.. as a citizen of independent part of ireland I can go and visit them any time I want but point is I dont have to go over there to get things I like… whereas if i lived in ni (actually i do some of the time) then I would have to either go “south” or to gb to get a lot of the things i like in life…

    I thought my description of Carlingford most fitting btw…

    DR,

    To say that catholics and protestants were equal in ni from 1921 onwards is quite simply perverse…. how a protestant parliament for a protestant people could be equal for catholics and protestants if beyond me and then there is the minor detail of the fact that ni was a one party state and catholics were not allowed to join that party…when this was suggested in the 1960’s it was vetoed by oo.. so on these two points alone they were non citizens.. I really dont think we need to go into all the other sordid details of their constant humiliation do we..

    is it not time you were barred from slugger unitl you retract your evident glee at the death threat on aine de baroid or as you so charmingly call her haemerrhoid???

  • darth rumsfeld

    dub
    a typical nationalist rant, devoid of solid evidence but rich with dodgy assumptions.

    I have no glee at any death threat, and you can’t find any evidence that I do. I do have contempt for so-called loyalists falling over themselves to hug someone whose role is to be a small cog in smoothing the path to a united Ireland that these people are supposed to oppose, and since I totally oppose that agenda I don’t want to see anyone engaging in it.Anything else is hypocrisy.Especially faux concern from loyalists who have a record decades long of intimidation and murder, and now posture as community leaders when there’s a few quid in it for them.

    “To say that catholics and protestants were equal in ni from 1921 onwards is quite simply perverse….”
    I didn’t say that. I said that there was no institutional discrimination against a religion, and there wasn’t. Indeed the state partially funded RC schools, to the fury of the Orange order- and many protestant churchmen, and incorporated the Mater Hospital into the NHS whilst uniquely allowing it to retain a Catholic approach to various forms of treatment. I don’t deny that RCs suffered disproportionately -especially in rural working class areas. I’m no defender of Stormont’s rotten record- but equally I’m not buying the hyperbolic whine of the Most Oppressed People Ever that quenches your thirst for bombastic statements. Incidentally many indices would quite probably show Presbyterians worse off in comparison to Episcopalians outside County Down as well

    “how a protestant parliament for a protestant people could be equal for catholics and protestants if beyond me and then there is the minor detail of the fact that ni was a one party state and catholics were not allowed to join that party…”

    Oh puhlease! Not Craig’s remark again. If you are right, then Devalera is equally to blame for his comments about a Catholic state (and he said it first, but surprisingly everyone forgets that), and you’ll graciously concede that the Republic was a hell on earth for protestants.

    Now we both know it wasn’t, though we’ll differ on the extent of protestant “discomfort”, though when even W B Yeats thought you had a problem it’s hard to deny it. The problem is your prejudice can’t permit you to admit that there was no shade of grey in NI’s treatment of it’s minority- just black black black. And no shade of grey in Dublin either- just whiter than white

    Look at the misleading language you spout.It wasn’t a one party state-one party won elections,others stood and lost-Ironically it got so scared of losing to the NI Labour Party in the 1960s that liberal “hero” Terence O’Neill crushed it instead of encouraging RCs to air their justified grievances through that organ than the dead end nationalist party that wouldn’t even go to Stormont and use the platform for most of its pointless existence.

    Of course RCs were allowed to join the Unionist party. Sir Denis Henry was an MP and then Lord Chief Justice. The utterances of the lightweight Grand Master Sir George Clark in the 1960s may have created headlines but had no significant effect- in north Londonderry a leading Unionist at the time was Marcus Mccausland- later a UDR officer murdered in Donegal, to give one example.

    Frankly why any of the middle class professionals of any religion , who had been liberated by post war tertiary education expansion would have wanted to join a party topheavy with antediluvian minor Church of Ireland gentry and retired Colonels, who made sure that everyone else knew his ( and it was “his”) place astonishes me.

    When even people like Brian Faulkner were looked on with suspicion as a tad plebiean, having been “in trade”, it’s no wonder the ramshackle apparatus of party and state couldn’t cope with widespread poverty and economic stagnation.

    ” I really dont think we need to go into all the other sordid details of their constant humiliation do we.. ”

    Well yes we do. Firstly to get to the truth, which will be at least as challenging for you as me. And secondly to prevent the same multi-party-one-party type of joke administration being foisted on us on 25/11/2006- with no opposition, no scrutiny, and no control of the political class which is still spectacularly useless and parochial, and increasingly venal and acquisutive.

  • dub

    dr,

    some good points… at least I’ve brought you on a bit…

    i happen to be one of those who believe that all the population suffered under stormont regime.. it was communal politics writ large with no access to national politics… just that under it protestants were mobilised against catholics…

    of course rhetoric does not always coincide with reality.. but in a place like ni was where politics consisted of communal mobilisation and endless focussing on the one question then rhetoric did matter and had very real effects…

    i am glad to see you withdrawing your glee at that death threat but to use a tasteless insult like haemerrhoid in such circumstances DOES imply a contempt for the person concerned merely because of her perceived status… and we all know where that kind of thinking can take us… also there is only one way that loyalists have traditionally “opposed” what they perceive as enemy catholics and you are on record as being dismayed that they are not opposing her…

    Any way best wishes,

    Dub.