St Andrews causing a stir in Free P heartland…

Noel MacAdam has like the rest of the media been picking up on the ‘noises off’ in the DUP consultation. Slugger heard one whisper that even the Doc got a rough ride from some in the audience in Co Armagh. Could it be a sign of fraying nerves, or authenticity? Noel, however, points to Ivan Foster’s lively guest book for one nodal point of swirling dissent. Not for the theologically faint of heart!

  • Greenflag

    DR ,

    ‘I mean, if you had your way Tullywhisker “Border Guards” LOL would have to get a new banner- how crazy is that?’

    A new banner doesn’t cost all that much 🙂 Anyway a lot less expensive than another 40 years of farting around in ever diminishing circles by your politicians with one shower trying to deliver an undeliverable 32 county Republic and the others trying to main a 6 county NI State as a public sector dominated basket case , irredeemably divided into sectarian halves with the mindless morons on each side burning each others flags in a never ending ritual of annula festivities 🙁

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Greeflag

    I was hoping your were not serious about repartition, but strange as it may be it seems you are.

    1. Since most of the Government jobs are in the two counties that you would partition, there would be mass unemployment as those that were no longer needed were off loaded, maybe we could make them all republicans and forcefully transfer them to the 4 counties so they could be unemployed there instead.

    2. The two counties would immediately then become self sufficient as they would lose all the current unemployed in the 4 counties and all the inefficiencies that come with a widespread urban community.

    3 All the republicans in the four counties would see the prosperity and would want to move to the two counties to take advantage of this and we would need to have restrictions on emigrants to prevent this happening.

    4. SF and SDLP would of course keep their seats in the Assembly an proclaim to anyone who would listen that a UI was just around the corner.

    I could continue in this vane, but it would be wasted as is the time you spend drawing up fanciful ideas that are totally unworkable……..

  • Cormac

    Anyway….

    Back to the original topic at hand (although I am genuinely fascinated with the repartition debate).

    This from http://www.UTVinternet.com :

    Jack McKee says he can’t accept deal

    A veteran Democratic Unionist councillor has urged colleagues to reject the St Andrews power-sharing road map.
    By:Press Association

    Jack McKee, a Larne councillor and former member of the 1982 Prior Assembly at Stormont, said today he could not countenance the DUP sharing power with Sinn Fein under Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern`s plan.

    He echoed Democratic Unionist MEP Jim Allister`s call for the Provisional IRA to disband its Army Council as one of the conditions for Sinn Fein`s entry into government.

    http://u.tv/newsroom/indepth.asp?id=77674&pt=n

    Army council to disband, or to continue (as David Cameron says) as an ‘old boys club’? And are any other members of the DUP agreeing with Messrs McKee and Allister?

    Anyone?

  • páid

    OK, GF, I could be persuaded on repartition.

    On a completely separate note, which side of the new border would you be inhabiting yourself?

  • Mick, I have long thought that comments on this blog should be limited to a maximum amount of words. I haven’t logged on in a while and when I saw this topic I was really interested.
    But it has been ruined for me by contributors posting essays rather than comments. There is no way I am going to read all that rubbish. I feel this needs to be looked at as it takes away from the subject at hand. Political discourse is set limits in the papers and on tele, why can’t it be the same with this blog?
    Glad to see the site back up and running.

  • ciaran damery

    Does it really matter what Paisleyites think. The war was fought on their behalf by SS/RUC and a plethora of other Unioist terrorists, of the ‘illegal’ variety. They clearly lost and the brits want out..at last. Good riddance to the Brits and let Ireland deal with Unionist terrorists who may surface subsequent to reunification.

  • Cormac


    Does it really matter what Paisleyites think.

    I guess in the absence of unification, it does!
    🙂

  • William Morrow

    Actually Cormac the most interesting quote from the DUP Councillor is this:

    “When (the former Ulster Unionist Prime Minister of Northern Ireland) Terence O`Neill brought the Irish Prime Minister to Northern Ireland in 1965, he was faced with a hostile reaction and the campaign `O`Neill must go`. What was wrong then is equally wrong now.

    “When (another UUP Prime Minister) Brian Faulkner set up power sharing with Gerry Fitt, this was also deemed to be wrong, and we had the Ulster Workers Council`s strike. That executive is but a toothless tiger compared to the type of government envisaged now.

    “And so I must say to myself: what then have the last 35, 40 years been all about? Why did we have 3,000 deaths, countless people maimed and crippled and billions of pounds worth of damage?

    You could translate this as him admitting to wasting his entire 35-year political life following a man who brought down every previous attempt at an accommodation in NI, ironically only to be sold out at the end by said leader. Sad, really, and as he says what a waste of life- Paisley’s epithet.

    This is much more significant that the former DUP Councillor’s comments earlier in the week, or comments on Rev Ivan Foster’s website. Expect similar in the next weeks and months as the DUP project collapses under its own internal contradictions.

  • Cormac

    Also, I can’t see Paisley pushing this through with anything other than strong support from his own party (no ‘Daphne test’ a la Trimble, for him).

    I agree William, that it looks likely to be rejected by the DUP grassroots – especially with a heavyweight like Allister against it.

    But who knows? Although only a week to go and I’ve yet to hear a robust defence of the StAA by a senior DUP member. All the heavy hitters seem to be talking about ‘consultations’…

  • fer fecks sake

    Darth Rumsfeld,

    “It’s always the way-treat someone with respect , and they’ll get to respect you back”.

    Sorry, but aren’t you the guy who admitted, some months back, to urinating on the memorial to Michael Collins at Beal na mBlath ?

    Slugger O’Toole truly is a hypocrites paradise.

  • Greenflag

    Frustrated Democrat .

    The Southern and Western areas of the present NI when ceded to the Republic after repartition would be the recipients of large scale private and public sector investment which they will never experience as long as NI is a regional economy within the UK .

    The ceded areas will be immediate beneficiaries of the Republic ‘s lower corporation tax rate whereas the Unionist State will still have to adhere to HMG ‘s standard policy .

    ‘I was hoping your were not serious about repartition,’

    Sorry to disappoint you then chief but repartition is a much better deal for Northern nationalists than what’s supposed to be on the plate at St Andrews .

  • Greenflag

    ‘Expect similar in the next weeks and months as the DUP project collapses under its own internal contradictions. ‘

    Not just the DUP project but Unionism itself . Gordon Brown’s ‘package’ highlights the empty hand which the DUP have been playing .

  • Greenflag

    ‘OK, GF, I could be persuaded on repartition. ‘

    Good man )

    ‘On a completely separate note, which side of the new border would you be inhabiting ‘

    I’m already on the right side of the present border. I look forward to the border moving about 30 miles further north . The greater the distance between Paisley and his ilk and my abode the better !

  • John East Belfast

    What annoys me about this whole thread is where the hell are all the DUP supporting anti Trimble posters?

    I thought the DUP line was this was an historic and essential agreement and therefore would be robustly defended by the same on a thread like this.

    It really is a damp squid compared to the rows the Pro and anti agreement unionists had on Slugger over the years.

    Either they are embarrased or the DUP really is a cult not wanting to offend Paisley.

    In terms of the latter Foster’s site really is nauseating where he is even censoring criticism of Paisley because it is being critical of a Christian man who has served the people for his whole life.
    This is despite the fact that Foster, from what I can gather, is anti SAA and his views on the Catholic Church (and hence should be refelected on Paisley meeting with Brady but arent) are science fiction.

    Where for instance is Christopher Stalford ?

    Surely he owes us some views ?

  • dalek

    Was not going to get involved in this debate but has this 4 county versus 2 county argument not been over simplified.

    If and its a big if repartition was considered then the present counties could not be used as a basis for a fair division.

    Surely bits of tyrone would stay on the east side,bits of derry, north armagh and bits of mid ulster.

    to say that re-partition could be carried out on the basis that 4 counties are let go and down and Antrim remain are clearly ridiculous.

    If repartition were to happen we would be talking about fermanagh,south armagh,west tyrone, west county derry and south down not a strictly 4+2 solution.

  • Greenflag

    ‘the DUP really is a cult not wanting to offend Paisley. ‘

    You got that right . The Party of God has one leader to whom God is apparently directly answerable 🙁

    The SAA is not all it’s made out to be and neither is the Chancellor’s ‘bribe.

  • Bemu s e d

    ’the DUP really is a cult not wanting to offend Paisley.’

    I assume you mean ‘ the DUP really is a cun t not wanting to offend Paisley’?

  • guillaume

    Greenflag,

    I presume that you have invented some kind of virtual corridor between Down and Belfast to in corporate the large percentage of Irish people in west Belfast or else not from Down but from the west direct.your probably trying the long game stepstone by stepstone but i gtell you has a proud Irishman I do not want anymore of this inch by inch.Its now the decision my friend(if I can permit meself) that we need to recognise that Unionists are as Irish as us.If they believe that Ireland should be part of the UK then so be it.It has never been about the six counties nor Northern Ireland.Tjats a hangover from other times.I believes that Unionists should be honest enough to say that they beleive in a Uk ireland.Carson’s tears.Allez paisely make us think about our relationship with Britain.Let us think about together as Irish,chersied equally under a beautiful constitution.1916

  • Smithsonian

    guillaume
    Why worry about the 1916 constitution, what about the 1937 constitution. Now that really set out what the state was about.

  • Alan

    Well thank goodness for free speech – inside political parties or outside. Challenges to the position of any leadership is an important part of democracy and I hope it continues in all political parties and instututions in the province. As long as the challenges follow normal democratic principals.

    As for the discussion of division of counties and separate states – I’m not too sure that the “Free State” actually wants parts of “the north of this island” anymore. Costs and political status quo in the “Free State” would be strained to breaking.

    Northern Ireland – all its parts is becoming the child that no-one wants, not the UK and not the Free State.

    Maybe the solution is Independance – a second Free State – Free State 2 the sequel. Then perhaps our politicians would actually have to run something instead of breaking it. Once all the ties were eventually cut, We (and they the politicians) would have to live in the real world and make our country work. Maybe the strain of that would bring our communities and maybe even our politicians together and build something good for ourselves instead of being in the eternal loop of self destruction.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Greenflag.
    So much for inclusivity- Your repartioned Ireland would require the four per cent of Protestants outside the Unionist areas to be resettled-to leave the place of their ancestors and birth and move away from their friends and neighbours.What gives Republicans the belief that all of Ireland is theirs by right?

    For once in my Bolshevik life I’m going to agree with the Vanguard man, T.Ruth. Repartition is a nonsensical idea and it can be pretty much dismissed out of hand. What I think you’re missing, Mr Ruth, is that there are significant pockets of nationalism within what would become a new two-county state. Take West Belfast for example. What would the republicans do with it ? Repartition in this way would probably harm nationalists even more than unionists.

    As others have said, the Irish national flag represents peace between Orange and Green. We will know that we have a solution when we have built up trust to the extent that the constitutional position no longer matters. I’ll tell you what as well – it’s a slow process but finally it’s getting there. Once the old curmudgeons like T.Ruth have passed on and taken their 1960s Craigism with them, and once their counterparts – waging war against furniture shops for Ireland – do the same, it will be even easier.

    Now, to be totally honest, I think it’s getting there, albeit slowly. I’d say a lot more unionists cross the border now for business or for pleasure compared with 30 years ago. I’d say that when they go there they find that the place isn’t too bad at all. OK, so they’re not hanging tricolours up outside their door – but is the South really such a threat to everyone’s way of life in this increasingly secular age ?

  • guillaume

    smithsonian,
    I don’t know if ‘worry’ is being used as some kind substitute for ‘reflect’ but either way I think the 1916 proclamation is better than any other document concerning the Irish people.It’s implementation was always going to take a century and probably more.

  • Smithsonian

    guillaume
    It may well be, but the 1937 constitution is the one that defined the period until say the start of the troubles. There was insitutionalised sectarianism.

    This situation didn’t arise overnight, the 1937 constitution presumably represented the will of the people at the time. If the will of the people has changed maybe a more appropriate constitution is required.

  • bertie

    “Once the old curmudgeons like T.Ruth have passed on and taken their 1960s Craigism with them, and once their counterparts – waging war against furniture shops for Ireland – do the same, it will be even easier. ”

    Has T Ruth been attcking furniture shops? Have I missed something?

  • Greenflag

    Guillaume,

    ‘that we need to recognise that Unionists are as Irish as us.’

    Rubbish . We need to recognise Unionists for what they say they are i.e British . How would you feel if I recognised you as being French even if you had no desire to be French ? Recognising people’s sense of national identity is fundamental to any truly democratic political solution. Pretending that Unionists are just misguided irish people is a bag of shite and self deluded shite at that. Sober up . The island is big enough for all of us to live on both British Unionist and Irish .An agreed Repartition would just be another administrative line in the context of the big EU picture !

  • Greenflag

    ‘For once in my Bolshevik life I’m going to agree with the Vanguard man, T.Ruth.’

    We’ll have to rename T.Ruth and Comrade Stalin the Rapallo duo . Hitler and Stalin ? or more modestly Ribbentrop / Molotov ? 🙂

    ‘Repartition is a nonsensical idea and it can be pretty much dismissed out of hand. ‘

    The Rapallo duo thought Poland was a nonsensical idea ! Seems to me that Poland is still around whereas the Rapallo duo’s political nirvana’s have passed into history .

    So Comrade Stalin /T Ruth I trust you are both prepared for a similar end to your particular political histories !

  • Smithsonian

    Greenflag
    What you need to realise is that unionists are people, not political widgets. The people of Northern Ireland (from both traditions) have a variety of attitudes experiences and abilities. They should be treated as individuals. Dialogue and engagement with no pre contiditions is the way forward. The Belfast agreement attempted to do just that.

    A constant theme in your posts is the dehumanisation of the people. You constantly refer to a unionist block, and a nationalist block. Your attempt to label people and tendency to attribute homogenus attitudes to these people coupled with your insistance that you alone know what is best for these people demonstrate either immature political development or unthinking political dogma.

    Eitherway, there are a number of political idealogies that are consistent with your views. Democracy is not one of them. The principle of consent is paramount.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Has T Ruth been attcking furniture shops? Have I missed something?

    bertie, I suggest you look up the word “counterparts” in the dictionary.

  • Comrade Stalin

    So Comrade Stalin /T Ruth I trust you are both prepared for a similar end to your particular political histories !

    Damn you, you lying bourgeois pay-lackey of that fascist hireling Trotsky! I am the revolution, and the revolution will never die!

  • kensei

    “It may well be, but the 1937 constitution is the one that defined the period until say the start of the troubles. There was insitutionalised sectarianism.”

    Bollocks there was. The only possible objection could be Article 5. Wiki has a rather enlightening page on it:

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

    And even that is gone. So please tell me – what problems do you have with Bunreacht na hÉireann as currently amended by referendum of the Irish people?

  • Smithsonian

    Kensei
    Health Act 1947, Browne, McQuaid demonstrate the importance of Roman Catholic church.

    Issues such as divorce and abortion also raise the issue of separation between state and church. The impact of the Magdalen asylums, the difficulties with the priesthood should not be underestimated.

    Whilst in recent years say the last 10 -15 years the Republic of Ireland may have become more secular this has not really been recognised in the constitution. Perhaps a fundamental view of the constitution, rather than merely removing the more negative aspects would be better.

    The Irish nation should set out it stall as to what it believes in, what it means to be Irish and what protection the individual citizen could expect.

    No harm in that surely.

  • kensei

    The Catholic Church clearly had a strong role: not least because it was the religion of over 90% of the population. I’d agree too often it had too strong or negative impact (something that could well have been avoided if there had have been no partition. The “special position” would unlikely have gotten through in the form it did in such a case, for a start), but this no more bearing on Bunreacht na hÉireann than the influence that various US Churches (including the Catholic Church) have had on the US Constitution.

    It is not an entirely secular document, because there are references to God in there. But again, so does the US Constitution, and it does not impact on the secular nature of the State.

    Article 44:

    2. 1° Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to every citizen.

    2° The State guarantees not to endow any religion.

    3° The State shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status.

    4° Legislation providing State aid for schools shall not discriminate between schools under the management of different religious denominations, nor be such as to affect prejudicially the right of any child to attend a school receiving public money without attending religious instruction at that school.

    5° Every religious denomination shall have the right to manage its own affairs, own, acquire and administer property, movable and immovable, and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes.

    6° The property of any religious denomination or any educational institution shall not be diverted save for necessary works of public utility and on payment of compensation.

    As for setting out what it believes are fundamental rights, I suggest you read article 40.

    Is it perfect? No, and could certainly do with some tidying up in an All Ireland scenario. And the Seanad could definately do with some reform. But the fundamentals are sound, and it was produced in 1937 when half of Europe had fallen under the spell of various anti-democratic isms.

    I would certainly give you that as a State, the Republic was often not a place that would readily attract Northern Unionists (though I would argue, that time has passed). But that has little to do with the Constitution, adocument which I and many other Irishmen and women are proud.

  • Smithsonian

    kensei
    I am not trying to denigrate your constitution, nor am I trying to tell you what you should put in it.

    What am saying is that the combination of the writen constitution and the perceived reality on the ground was to portray a rather hostile impression to the average Northerner.

    If the South has fundamentally changed or if it wants to reach out to Northerners it might consider laying the foundations of any future relation now.

    One way of doing so without becoming involved in a political process which would heighten tensions, is for the South alone to consider the purpose and structure of its constitution. You can be sure that although not part of the debate, the Northerners would note developments with interest.

  • bertie

    Comrade

    “Has T Ruth been attcking furniture shops? Have I missed something?

    bertie, I suggest you look up the word “counterparts” in the dictionary. ”

    I just did and it gave me

    “a person or thing which has the same purpose as another one in a different place or organization”

    I still want to know how people attacking furntiture shops are T Ruth’s counterparts. They would appear to be different both in ultimate purpose and in tactic, unless T Ruth has been attacking furniture shops for the Union! 😉

  • kensei

    “What am saying is that the combination of the writen constitution and the perceived reality on the ground was to portray a rather hostile impression to the average Northerner.”

    Here is a tip: not all Northerners are Unionists. It really isn’t the Republic’s government’s fault if Unionism is stuck in a time warp. What exactly else can i do? Articles 2 and 3 have been replaced, Article 5 is long gone, the divorce ban is gone and almost no one supports abortion here anyway, they have built a modern prosperous economy, sucked in all kinds of people of varying religion, they are building a centre at the Boyne, are going to pump some stupid amount of money up here to help with infrastructure problems and have even given a bloody bowl to Ian Paisley.

    Sure their perspection may be out of sync, but the fault lies with the leadership of Unionism, who want it that way for their own ends, not the Irish Government.

    “If the South has fundamentally changed or if it wants to reach out to Northerners it might consider laying the foundations of any future relation now.

    One way of doing so without becoming involved in a political process which would heighten tensions, is for the South alone to consider the purpose and structure of its constitution. You can be sure that although not part of the debate, the Northerners would note developments with interest. ”

    While believing that a new Constitution should be place for a new state, you are sticking the cart before the horse: the new Constitution comes after the agreement to reunite. I ask again: what problems do you have with the Irish Constitution, right now, this second?

  • Comrade Stalin

    bertie, what I was trying to say is that T.Ruth is the polar opposite of the uncompromising mentality prevalent in dissident republicanism. This is the mentality which is not interested in either the compromise or the introspection required for us to build a shared, peaceful future.

    Obviously, it doesn’t mean that Mr.T expresses his perspective by leaving incendary devices in DIY establishments. I assume he doesn’t.

  • Greenflag

    Smithsonian .

    ‘What you need to realise is that unionists are people, not political widgets. ‘

    I’ve never accused Unionists of being political widgets . I may have inferred political ‘midgetry’ as a trait of Unionist political leadership but then many unionists would share the same view .

    I do realise that Unionists are people . Here’s another eye opener for you . The Irish are also people and so too are the English , Americans , Koreans , Indians , Slovaks etc etc . Who ever would have thought it ? Imagine all those countries having ‘people ‘ ?

    ‘The people of Northern Ireland (from both traditions) have a variety of attitudes experiences and abilities. They should be treated as individuals. Dialogue and engagement with no pre contiditions is the way forward. The Belfast agreement attempted to do just that. ‘

    Full marks for the obvious . I’d guess this has always been obvious although maybe you are surprised to have just discovered these facts ?
    You may be aware that there has been no direct ‘dialogue ‘ or ‘engagement’ between the DUP and SF ever and even when the SDLP were the main Nationalist party the DUP did’nt bother it’s arse with ‘dialogue’.

    ‘A constant theme in your posts is the dehumanisation of the people. ‘

    Rubbish . I’m aware that there is a wide range of views among Unionists just as there is among Nationalists and Republicans . As for knowing what’s best ? I have my opinion. Others have theirs. I happen to believe that an agreed Repartition of Northern Ireland makes better political and economic sense than what’s currently on offer . Some like yourself think that another 40 years of farting around studying your navel while NI people discover that the neighbouring tribe are people too is the way to go ? Perhaps I’m a little impatient !

    What’s important is finding what can work politically and what makes sense economically . The present Northern Ireland 6 county State does not make economic or political sense. Thus it needs to be replaced . The present SAA is an ‘enforced and involuntary coalition’ assuming it comes to pass . Like a shothun marriage it will have no staying power . Neither will such a coalition have any real power apart from ‘garbage removal’ schedules.

    ‘ The principle of consent is paramount.’

    I agree which is why I often use the term ‘an agreed and fair repartition ‘ being preferable to one imposed in a conflict or post conflict situation .

  • Greenflag

    Comrade Stalin a.k.a Molotov von Ribbentrop

    ‘and the revolution will never die!

    Revolution will never die – It’s part of the human condition a recurring theme when societies under stress for all kinds of reasons ‘implode’ and have to start again .

    However ‘ THE REVOLUTION ‘ has died . It passed away somewhat peacefully when the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989 . There are still a few spectres ghouling around in places like North Korea and Cuba .

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Darth Rumsfeld,

    “It’s always the way-treat someone with respect , and they’ll get to respect you back”.

    Sorry, but aren’t you the guy who admitted, some months back, to urinating on the memorial to Michael Collins at Beal na mBlath ?

    Slugger O’Toole truly is a hypocrites paradise.

    Posted by fer fecks sake on Nov 03, 2006 @ 05:54 PM”

    tut tut, silly boy. Michael Collins never earned Unionist respect, because he ..er, murdered Unionists. Had he been a statesman, and not a thug, he would of course be deserving of respect.Do try to think before posting.You just show yourself up

  • Comrade Stalin

    he would of course be deserving of respect.

    Whereas unionists, meanwhile, founded the UVF. Why would anyone want to be respected by them ?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Whereas unionists, meanwhile, founded the UVF…”

    and the number of UVF victims from 1912-1918 is…? That’s right.A big fat zero.

    But of course we’re not using our historical grievances to justify present attitudes are we? I don’t hold Enda Kenny responsible for Collins’ terrorism.

  • bertie

    Comrade

    In that case I would suggest that T Ruth’s counterparts would be those of uncompromisung mentality in the “Green” comminuity who would not take part in or condone attacking funtiture shops and the counterparts of those who were involved in this attack in the “Orange” community are those who would express “his perspective by leaving incendary devices in DIY establishments”.

    Darth

    excellent point!

    Wouldn’t it be great of the IRA had a similar tally and indeed those who took the UVF name in more recent years.

  • Kloot

    Bertie, Darth Rumsfeld

    Michael Collins never earned Unionist respect
    Actually. Michael Collins and Lord Birkenhead got on pretty well during the negotiations. Alot of respect for each other apparently. But thats just one unionist. 800,000 more to go. Churchill grew to like him too. In fact, when his body was being transported from cork to dublin, a full naval salute was given by the British fleet in port at the time

    The reality is that either the UVF (formed before the IVF, IRB, IRA) or the IVF were going to come into conflict with the British state at some stage or an other.

    The UVF we equally prepared to kill British soldiers as the IVF in the defence of their viewpoint. Its just that the IVF/IRB/CA got there first.

    But, in fairness those were different times, and both organisations had the support of their respective communities.

    …but again, I digress

    Back to the topic at hand though. DUP support has swelled in the last 2 years. Are these new supporters treated differently to long time supporters. What I mean is, is it a majority of the long term supporters that is required as opposed to the majority of the supporters as a whole (those ex UUP supporters)

  • George

    Darth,
    you urinating on memorials to the dead says more about you than it does about Michaeal Collins.

  • Smithsonian

    Greenflag
    With more than a hint of derision you scorn my earlier post as a statement of the obvious. You must be brighter than me (though stating that not all Northerners are Unionist does seem a little selfevident to me) but sometimes it is worth stating the obvious.

    The constitutional issue was settled by the Belfast agreement (no mention of repartition). Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. The North South bodies are there to ensure that those who aspire to a stronger relationship with the South are accomodated, the East West bodies are there for those who don’t, but the uncomfortably reality is that nobody really gives a damn about us, not the English, not the Irish, not the Americans.

    So if we want to make things better we have to work it out for ourselves and the Belfast agreement is as close to a workable framework as I have seen. Now if somebody can come up with a new deal to which everyone will agree, I’m all ears.

  • kensei

    “With more than a hint of derision you scorn my earlier post as a statement of the obvious. You must be brighter than me (though stating that not all Northerners are Unionist does seem a little selfevident to me) but sometimes it is worth stating the obvious.”

    That was me actually. And as you bandied “Northerners” about so casually, I thought it was an important point to make.

    “The constitutional issue was settled by the Belfast agreement (no mention of repartition). Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. The North South bodies are there to ensure that those who aspire to a stronger relationship with the South are accomodated, the East West bodies are there for those who don’t, but the uncomfortably reality is that nobody really gives a damn about us, not the English, not the Irish, not the Americans.”

    The Belfast Agreement didn’t settle anything. It merely set up an agreed framework. If people West of the Bann really pushed for repartition, there would be little anyone could do to stop it.

    Also, the Irish consistently poll in favour of a UI, and have done so recently. So be happier; at leats someone wants you.

  • Greenflag

    Smithsonian,

    ‘The constitutional issue was settled by the Belfast agreement ‘

    Sure . It was also settled in 1920 , 1974 , 1998 , etc etc . Repeat including 2006 SAA as often as you need to reduce that old paranoia feeling . How can you have the ‘constitutional issue’ settled when one half of the prospective NI restored Assembly is committed to the demise of the State and the other half is committed to it’s preservation ? The Agreement is just a framework for agreed local devolved government .

    ‘the uncomfortably reality is that nobody really gives a damn about us, not the English, not the Irish, not the Americans. ‘

    The ould spoilt child syndrome yet again 🙁 Have you people any self respect at all at all ? There you have British and Irish Prime Ministers spending millions and if added up over the decades countless thousands of hours trying to get your NI politicians to agree on a devolved Government . Even the American Senator Mitchell spent 5 years travelling back and forth across the Atlantic to act as mediator between both parties . I won’t mention the thousands who have sacrificed their lives so that the NI ‘political entity’ did not descend into a Bosnia type all out mini genocidal conflict !

    And now you have Mr Empey screaming that 50 billion is not enough ?

    And you wonder why derision ??

    ‘So if we want to make things better we have to work it out for ourselves’

    Well yes . Unfortunately the actual record of working it out for ‘ourselves’ does not stand up to scrutiny . It also ignores what it has taken to get the DUP to the point at which they might form an involuntary devolved administration with SF. Without the input of HMG , the Irish Government and American assistance there would be no Belfast Agreement . There would also have been no Sunningdale or GFA either . It would be 1980 ad infinitum .

    ‘Now if somebody can come up with a new deal to which everyone will agree, I’m all ears. ‘

    There is NO deal to which everyone in NI can agree .Simply not politically or practically possible and if you were to wait for such a deal then you can also expect to see hell freeze or bananas growing in back gardens in Ballymena.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Darth,
    you urinating on memorials to the dead says more about you than it does about Michaeal Collins.

    Posted by George on Nov 06, 2006 @ 11:56 PM”

    Pah! It’s not a grave, which deserves some respect. It’s a crass glorification of a man who sent out killers who have the blood of innocents on their hands- and many of them still have not the luxury of either a grave or a memorial but lie in the bogs of Cork. I think on the day of judgment Collins’ crimes might be regarded as a tad more worthy of condemnation than anything I may or may not have done in my salad days (incidentally I never said that I had done it, merely that I remembered it being done, with a degree of fondness for the perpetrator). But hey, what’s a sense of proportion when you’ve got political beliefs to protect?

  • Comrade Stalin

    and the number of UVF victims from 1912-1918 is…? That’s right.A big fat zero.

    Yeah, sure. It’s OK to organize an armed paramilitary group, have drills on the cavehill, and issue threats (signed in blood no less) as long as you don’t actually shoot anyone. Provided they’re loyalists, that is.

    On the question of unionist respect in general, when have they ever respected anyone who disagreed with them ?

  • bertie

    “Yeah, sure. It’s OK to organize an armed paramilitary group, have drills on the cavehill, and issue threats (signed in blood no less) as long as you don’t actually shoot anyone. Provided they’re loyalists, that is. ”

    I beats the hell out of murdering anyone!

  • bertie

    should read “IT beats the hell…”

  • Comrade Stalin

    I beats the hell out of murdering anyone!

    Of course it does. Let’s give a load of guns to the IRA on the condition that they will never fire them. Do you reckon it would go down well ?

  • bertie

    Comrade

    No it would not go down well because they are murderers. Get it? They murdered people! If they hadn’t murdered/maimed people I wouldn’t give a tuppeny damn, especially as most of them have died off years since!

  • bertie

    the last bit referred to the fact that the UVF of early last centuary have all died off.

  • Smithsonian

    Greenflag
    The ould spoilt child syndrome yet again 🙁 Have you people any self respect at all at all ?

    Actually, self respect is not something we are short of, though one must be careful not take one self too seriously.

    The people of Northern Ireland do have the capacity to work things out for themselves. True, we can’t do it if people are intent on blowing the place up.

    However, the majority of the people have moved on. What they care about are jobs and the cost of living. The current crop of politicians serve nobody but themselves, but then I guess that is a problem that all democracies have to put with.

    I can’t wait until the SF/DUP partnership swings into action. Presumably you don’t think it will work because SF will continue to undermine the state?

    kensei
    Apologies for the misrepresentation!

    Also, the Irish consistently poll in favour of a UI, and have done so recently. So be happier; at leats someone wants you.

    Ask them if they are prepared to take on £5.5 billion per annum, political instability, a political party that doesn’t recognise the Republic of Ireland as legitimate, Ian Paisley etc etc and I think the answer might be slightly different.

    There will be no United Ireland until there is first a peaceful and united Northern Ireland and that could be some time off. Even then a united Northern Ireland is unlikely to welcome a destablising change of sovereignty.

  • kensei

    “Ask them if they are prepared to take on £5.5 billion per annum, political instability, a political party that doesn’t recognise the Republic of Ireland as legitimate, Ian Paisley etc etc and I think the answer might be slightly different.”

    Might be, but then in again in any such scenario there would actually be two sides arguing it out and I certainly don’t agree with all of your points. I’d be shocked if the Irish Government didn’t support it, at least as a gradual process.

    So it would take a great deal to turn around the basically pro-UI position in the Republic.

    As I said, feel better.

  • kensei

    “Even then a united Northern Ireland is unlikely to welcome a destablising change of sovereignty.”

    Yeah, because all those Nationalists would suddenly have turned to Unionists :rolleyes:

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Yeah, sure. It’s OK to organize an armed paramilitary group, have drills on the cavehill, and issue threats (signed in blood no less) as long as you don’t actually shoot anyone. Provided they’re loyalists, that is.”

    Actually comrade you do raise an important point. Of course there is a qualititative difference in that many historians seee the UVF as a bluff (as did contemporary nationalists) while Carson saw the drilling as a safety valve for communal tension, and a means to organise a community politically. The IRA in all its guises has consistently abrogated to itself the right to determine the political and constitutional future of the Irish peoples without bothering about mandates and has aggressively sought to achieve those ends on several occasions. So in 1916 if there had been no World War they might well have ended up fighting each other, but have taken very different routes to their respective casus belli.

    Whether the UVF would have ever fired a shot in anger is open to debate- and it may very well have been shooting at British soldiers as opposed to Irish nationalists- no doubt explaining Pearse’s famous observation. The fact is it didn’t and thus has that most important distinction-historical fact.

    I bet fair deal is glad this thread has meandered over so many topics that it has hardly touched on the supposed tensions within the DUP!

  • George

    Darth,
    desecration of memorials by you, says a lot more about you than it does about who the memorial was put up to, in this case Michael Collins.

    I suppose I should pop off to some British cenotaph, those crass glorifications of men who sent out killers who have the blood of innocents on their hands – and many of their still have not the luxury of either a grave or a memorial.

    Or maybe I won’t because that would be just plain vile behaviour and would be degrading not only to the memorial but to me.

    It seems we have different standards.

  • Smithsonian

    kensei
    Yeah, because all those Nationalists would suddenly have turned to Unionists :rolleyes:

    Nope, because most people whether nationalist or unionist are more concerned about jobs, education and welfare. Corner them into giving a specific question and you might get a specific result but in general most people just want to get on. What benefit would you get from an United Ireland, what disadvantages? The negatives are always more certain than the potential positives.

  • Kloot

    darth rumsfeld

    Interesting stuff there. Ive just finished reading a biography on carson, and I agree, the nationalists and the majority of the UK government did take the UVF as a bluff. However, the UVF took themselves very seriously.

    I think your right, it was more likely that British soldiers would have been the target of any UVF aggression as Carson made it very clear that this was NOT about religion, and hence catholics and the local IVF were not to be targeted. Although he did change his tone in later years. At one stage the UVF came very close to all out action when rumours flew about about the imminent arrest of the leaders of the UVF and indeed the opposition of the UK government. Civil war came pretty close. In that likelihood the history of this country would have been very much different.

    However, does it make any difference that they didnt actually fire a weapon in anger. A small bit maybe, but were there intentions any different then those of the IVF, would there not have been contained within the UVF, men with similar outlooks to michael collins as to how their aim could be achieved. The UVF after all had planned to attack and raid the major arms depots in the region. Its too easy to vilify the men of 1916 because they actually acted out their intentions and to ignore the intentions of the UVF because they were not forced to showing their cards

  • Greenflag

    Smithsonian ,

    ‘The people of Northern Ireland do have the capacity to work things out for themselves. ‘

    In that case my eyes don’t see what I hear, and my ears don’t hear what I see . I guess I must’nt have noticed that Sunningdale worked ? or that the DUP/SF devolved Government have been happily power sharing for the past decade ? Wake up Smithsonian and leave the past in a museum where it belongs.

    ‘I can’t wait until the SF/DUP partnership swings into action. ‘

    I can.

    ‘Presumably you don’t think it will work because SF will continue to undermine the state? ‘

    That is one reason but more importantly the NI State in it’s present format can never become a normal democracy under a forced ‘coalition’ without an effective opposition .

    Just bury the ‘devolved’ corpse and let NI be ruled as a semi colony for another generation or so . I’m sure the people of NI can carry on much as they do now without their local politicians having the power to screw things up any more than they are already screwed.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “It seems we have different standards.

    Posted by George on Nov 08, 2006 @ 09:53 AM”

    You’re absolutely right, and I thank God for it. Now off you trot and grovel at the graves of some terrorists.

    “..would there not have been contained within the UVF, men with similar outlooks to michael collins as to how their aim could be achieved.”(kloot)
    You may very well be right. But fortunately we’ll never know. Just like we’ll never know what the IVF might have done. And so we have to give both the benefit of the doubt which cannot be given to the IRA.

  • NedKelly

    I really can’t see a problem. The Free P’s could establish a settlment a la the Amish people, in Antrim or North Down.

    They can become a quiant tourist attraction that we can all visit on our overseas tours. I personally want to photograph the swings tied up on a Sunday so that I might enter the BBC world photo competitions that happen from time to time.

  • George

    Darth,
    “You’re absolutely right, and I thank God for it. Now off you trot and grovel at the graves of some terrorists.”

    No need to resort to gratuitous insults merely because I take issue with your desecration of memorials.

  • Butterknife
  • #

    Darth,
    “You’re absolutely right, and I thank God for it. Now off you trot and grovel at the graves of some terrorists.”

    No need to resort to gratuitous insults merely because I take issue with your desecration of memorials.
    Posted by George on Nov 08, 2006 @ 03:07 PM

    Well done George, a true gentleman, you beat him everytime in your debates.

  • Smithsonian

    Greenflag
    You’re just in too big a rush. Trust the people.