Orange backs the Catholic church…

Implausible? Not really. Both are socially conservative religious organisations with very similar outlooks on a range of social issues… Not least in their response to Equality legislation as it is to be applied to adoption agencies.

Ian Wilson, the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, last night told The Scotsman that leaders of the Catholic Church had a right to be heard on such moral issues in politics.

He spoke after Cormac Murphy O’Connor said: ” If people weren’t able to act according to their conscience for the sake of the common good in our country, it would be a lack of freedom for religious conviction”

Mr Wilson said: “There has to be more tolerance of the views of people of faith, and that includes the Cardinal. Broadly speaking, the Lodge would take an orthodox, traditional Christian view of this – we see the family as a man and a woman.”

Orange lodges have sometimes been associated with sectarian tension, but Mr Wilson insisted that his order sympathised with the Catholic hierarchy.

,

  • Yokel

    This is not surprising at all.

    Apparently, bitter enemies often have much in common. Hitler & Stalin for example or me and my other half……

  • Neo-con Facsists come in all colours, founded on the same Nazi priciples though, disguised as so called Christian moral values.

    Atilla the Blank would not join the Catholic Church or the Orange Order, they are too Right Wing.

  • Nevin

    They’re both socially conservative religious and political organisations – and here we could expect one to support the DUP and the other SF on social issues.

  • and here we could expect one to support the DUP and the other SF on social issues

    Except the Shinners, whatever their other faults, are quite sound on gay rights. This will have a direct bearing on my lower preferences this year.

  • Advice to the catholic church:

    When the Orange Order defend your moral view, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

  • Dougal

    I think the cardinal is right to raise the issue of a freedom for religious conviction.

    Politicians are not the best placed people in society to make moral judgments and history shows this. Some things are simply wrong. They are wrong not because the democratic majority agrees they are wrong but because they are intrinsically wrong. The German people mandated Adolf Hitler in 1933 but few would argue that justified the atrocities of WWII. A growing culture of “Relativism” and “secularism” is to blame and the cardinal is right to speak out.

  • A growing culture of “Relativism” and “secularism” is to blame and the cardinal is right to speak out.

    Blame for what?

    So, Creationism over Darwinism for School-children would be your preference?

  • Dougal

    Art Hostage, Blame for what?

    Did you read the title of this thread?

    The cardinal has voiced concerns at legislation passed by a government that would prevent people being able to act according to their conscience for the sake of the common good in our country. A culture of “Relativism” and “secularism” is resulting in a lack of freedom for religious conviction.

    Nowadays, anything goes doesn’t it?

  • T.Ruth

    The Cardinal and the Orange Order hold the Christian view that while homosexual practice is legally and socially acceptable to a minority of people it continues to be immoral and perverse in the view of Christians-as indeed they would regard heterosexual activity outside marriage.
    Why should homosexuals insist on their so called human right to the disadvantage of Catholic adoption agencies? People should be free to offer their service within their own guidelines when it is a matter of religious conscience.I await the perverse outcry from the mortally wounded souls who want to undermine Christianity by their immoral behaviour and practice.
    T.Ruth

  • T.Ruth

    As for those who still believe in Darwinism-the notion that we are descended from beasts.You cannot be serious.
    If we are natural creatures we could imagine only those things which exist in the natural universe. where then did mankind get the concept of God.We can’t even invent another colour for the rainbow.
    If there was a big bang and it is all just chaos how would we know it was chaotic? We are the creatures of a supernatural God and each of us will meet Him in person to give an account of ourselves to Him.
    T.Ruth

  • So, the “No Blacks” “No Muslims” “No Jews ” Signs can go up at the bed and breakfast house like they did in the 1950’s.

    Mr and Mrs Racist who run the guest house won’t welcome these groups out of religious conscience.

    What rights and exemptions should young radical Muslims get to protect their religious conscience?

    The Law is the Law is the Law in Democracies.

    If a law is bad then the law is changed or abolished.

    Exemptions send out a mixed message and undermine democracy.

    Neo-Con Christians would be better served lobbying for a law change rather than an exemption.

    Then the public would see the real deal of 21st century neo-con fundermentalist Christianity for what is really represents, Fascist dictatorship, One World Govt beating to a puritanical agenda.

  • blandy

    I think a subtle distinction is overlooked here. Should those charging for a good or service who happen to be Christian be treated differently than those who offer a service for free out of sense of religous conviction. Thus it’s tough for the religous B&B owner (who I suspect never asked for marriage certs for hetero couples to prevent sinning)on the grounds that he is a businessman being paid. The adoption agencies on the other hand would not exist but for religous belief and offer their services for free – they should therefore be given more consideration. (not to mention the fact that the taxpayer now has to pick up the tab if they’re closed)

    Discuss

  • willis

    Who would ever have thought that these dreadful “Relativists, secularists, Darwinians &c” could have achieved the ecuminism that 500 years of church history never did!

  • Dougal

    Art Hostage, are you intentionally trying to misread what is essentially a very straightforward point? Many would argue that it is precisely the “anything goes”, “nobody can tell me what to do” attitude in our modern society that gives rise to “the “No Blacks” “No Muslims” “No Jews “ Signs”

    After all, the Relativist will tell you that you should believe what you want to believe, you are right to do so and nobody has any right to tell you that you are wrong.

  • your as mad as a hatter

    T.Ruth – perhaps you ought to consider the irony of using a computer and the IT infrastructure to communicate on this blog – the inventions of rational science – don’t recall them cited in the tablets or bible etc.

    “we can’t invent anohter colour for the rainbow” – you poor ignorant fool go get an basic (scientific) education – there is unfortunately a lot of critical independent though required that perhaps you and your ilk who congregate in wee gospel halls or large catherdrals might have trouble with.

    At the nub of the issue in the whole equality debate in the narrow minded conservative fools who take what they are told by their religious hierarchy and consign themsleves to intellectual & emotional torpor.

    Pity them for they know not what they do…..

  • McGrath

    What exactly has adoption got to do with any church? Inst any churches reason to exist the indoctrination of their members that their version of god is the correct version?

    I fail to see any real purpose of a churches involvement in adoption other than a recruitment drive, IE making sure that all the little orphans are brought up to believe in their version of god.

    Homosexuals by their choice of which gender they choose to have sex with have consciously excluded themselves from procreation. Heterosexual couples unable to conceive because of some biological problem did not make the same conscious choice and should remain at the head of the queue well ahead of those couples who want an alternative lifestyle but dont wish to accept the childless consequences of doing so.

  • McGrath

    Posted by T.Ruth on Jan 31, 2007 @ 07:56 PM

    T. Ruth,

    Its going to be a bitch when you find out that our life after death is going to be the exact same as our life was before we were born. Try to think back.

  • lapsedmethodist

    – we see the family as a man and a woman — and 2.4 junior orangemen.

  • Reader

    McGrath: Homosexuals by their choice of which gender they choose to have sex with have consciously excluded themselves from procreation. Heterosexual couples unable to conceive because of some biological problem did not make the same conscious choice and should remain at the head of the queue well ahead of those couples who want an alternative lifestyle but dont wish to accept the childless consequences of doing so.
    Lots of heterosexual people made choices that left them childless – marrying too late or not at all. Marrying in good time, but not procreating soon enough. Catching an STD that leaves one partner infertile. Knowingly marrying an infertile partner. So far as I know, the Church isn’t going to discriminate against all of these choices – only one. And I don’t believe that homosexuals choose their partners in order *not* to procreate. It is just an unintended consequence of a personal characteristic. So is being discriminated against, of course.

  • Seems to me that this discussion, while it shows great concern about the rights of those wishing to adopt a child, is totally silent and unconcerned about the rights of the parent(s) surrendering the child for adoption.

    Do not the birth parent(s) have the right to specify some of the values the adoptive parents should hold? Can not the birth parents specify that the child must be raised in a given religious tradition? Or that the child not be given to homosexual couples or single parents? Seems to me that these rights are just as valid and worthy of observance as those of the single parent or homosexual couple.

    If that be so, then it would seem that agencies that are committed to allowing only heterosexual couples with given religious beliefs to adopt any of the children the agency offers for adoption are providing a legitimate and legal service.

    If there were only a single agency offerring adoption services, then, it seems to me that they must consider all prospective parent(s), single or married, homo or hetero sexual. or whtever. BUT, even such an agency would still be bound by the parent(s)’ wishes.

    There are more than just the rights of those who wish to adopt that must, it seems to me, be considred here.

  • McGrath

    Posted by Reader on Jan 31, 2007 @ 10:54 PM

    Establishing a priority list isnt discrimination.

    Under the current system, younger couples get higher priority than older couples. Infertile couples get priority over fertile couples.

  • McGrath

    It think the point of the original post is, that under a devolved assembly, the majority of political parties would reject this proposed adoption discrimination legislation. Not sure if the NI assembly would have the power to reject it, or to write its own (similar situation to water charges, school closures, language laws etc). Its another instance of the wider UKs liberal views being imposed on conservative Northern Ireland.

  • McGrath

    Post 22 was me, not sure what happened the signature!

    McGrath

  • BeardyBoy

    Glad to see the OO making sense and defending peoples rights instead of trampling them.

    The Church, like any other body has the right to discriminate.

    The law is wrong to say that you must give children to homosexuals for adoption.

    It would also be wrong to say you can’t give children to homosexuals for adoption.

    Live and let live – the socialist world is imposing its standards on the rest of us. Freedom of conscience is being denied.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Except the Shinners, whatever their other faults, are quite sound on gay rights. This will have a direct bearing on my lower preferences this year.

    Posted by Sammy Morse on Jan 31, 2007 @ 06:07 PM”

    er… isn’t this what’s wrong with persons with particular “ishoo” politics. At the risk of invoking Godwin, just because Ernst Rohm was a homosexual wouldn’t justify overlooking the excesses of his brownshirted chums.

    It’s the morality, stupid.Theoretical Unionism isn’t objectively morally superior to theoretical republicanism, but Unionist politicians-dull, stupid and reactionary as most of them are- are morally superior to the current representatives
    of republicanism because they were/are involved in criminal behaviour on an organised and dedicated scale. Just because someone ticks your ishoo box you can’t ignore all that.

    on the point of the thread, there are of course many points of common interest between the Orange Order and the Roman Catholic church, as socially conservative bodies for both of whom secularism is now a bigger threat than the other. If the Orange slogan “civil and religious liberty for all” is belatedly being properly applied to RCs then that can only be a good thing. Hopefully the mutual suspicion will reduce as common interests emrge

  • Oranges for Sale

    Art Hostage, McGrath

    Perhaps neither of you has grasped the irony of exactly what you are saying to T.Ruth. While you defend the rights of homosexuals to lead whatever lifestyle they choose, you lambaste T.Ruth for traditional Christian beliefs, to the point of personal insult. The hypocrisy!

    Art Hostage you say ‘neo-con fundamentalist Christianity ‘?! Change the record, son. If we polled the views of the people of NI on this issue most of them would agree with the ‘Neo-con Fascists’. THATS TRUE DEMOCRACY.

  • Wilde Rover

    “If we polled the views of the people of NI on this issue most of them would agree with the ‘Neo-con Fascists’. THATS TRUE DEMOCRACY.”

    It would be refreshing to have a poll like that.

    Perhaps a newly elected Assembly could allow an open debate on such matters, with all parties suspending the whip.

    After all, the electorate deserves to see what their representatives really look like once the tribal garb is, temporarily at least, discarded.

  • just because Ernst Rohm was a homosexual wouldn’t justify overlooking the excesses of his brownshirted chums

    Congratulations on the analogy. As Tyler Durden said to Jack in Fight Club, “I get it, it’s very clever. How’s that working out for you?”

    Clever as the analogy is, it’s also wrong. Were I going out and helping Gerry Kelly top the poll while the IRA were still running around Belfast blowing stuff up and shooting people, you might indeed have a point. Whether or not a guesthouse would be allowed to turn me and Mr. Sammy Morse away, deplorable as that might be, would probably be a bad single issue to vote on in that context. Even in terms of lower preferences.

    However, the IRA are basically a fenian version of the masons these days and Gerry Kelly is calling on young nationalists to join the PSNI (it’s like, so different to the RUC you know), not to mention partition being copperfastened forever. In that context, it’s kind of hard to see why I shouldn’t give the chucks a preference (after Alliance, anyone else who is vaguely non-sectarian and the SDLP) ahead of people who showed how much they hate filthy queers like me in the SORs debate last month.

    I mean, I haven’t made up my mind (Caral ni Chuilin – shudder) but it’s certainly a possibility (Fred Cobain, anyone?). Unless of course you think the IRA only pretended to give up their guns and accept the PSNI so they could launch a massive sneak attack on the defenceless Protestant people of Ulster. However, the realities of military logistics makes that pretty much impossible. The only occasion I can think of where this actually happened was the Cylons’ sneak attack on the tweleve colonies at the start of Battlestar Galactica. And that was a bad science fiction series, not real life.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Er…but isn’t the rather dodgy history of Gerry K and his mates pre 5 p.m. on Sunday enough to outweigh a few platitudinous pro-gay statements? I mean, you couldn’t ignore the PUP’s chums in Mount Vernon special branch beating Rev. David Templeton to death just cos Dawn ‘n’ Davy push all the right buttons on the equality agenda. And just because some dinosaurs in the UUP/DUP aren’t on-message for your agenda, isn’t that a rather narrow perspective to take?

  • isn’t the rather dodgy history of Gerry K and his mates pre 5 p.m. on Sunday enough to outweigh a few platitudinous pro-gay statements?

    I’m not a big fan of Gerry K and his mates’ history but, to coin a phrase, “just because you have a past, doesn’t mean you don’t have a future”. As for the platitudinous bit – no, I don’t think they are platitudinous. They might be following a hard-left international socialist agenda that normally makes my stomach churn but – hey, if it means I get to live in peace and freedom then I’ll live with it. I don’t think it’s a platitude.

    The world changed too recently for gays in Northern Ireland for us to take anything for granted. To counter-invoke Godwin, I’m sure lots of gays in Berlin in 1929 thought things could never go back to the bad old days for them.

    I mean, you couldn’t ignore the PUP’s chums in Mount Vernon special branch beating Rev. David Templeton to death just cos Dawn ‘n’ Davy push all the right buttons on the equality agenda.

    Er, no, now that you mention it. But then I was never that starry eyed about the PUPs anyway. You could also mention Tommy English trying to smash up the Crow’s Nest because he went into the nearest pub one wet night to get out of the rain and found out that Belfast had a gay bar! But name me a parallel case from the Shinners in the past few decades?

    And then again, plenty of those good ol’ UUP and DUP dinosaurs were either members of loyalist paramilitary organisations or happy sneaking regarders. It’s not like your own house is in that great order either.

    And just because some dinosaurs in the UUP/DUP aren’t on-message for your agenda, isn’t that a rather narrow perspective to take?

    It’s not my ‘agenda’ – it’s my life. I’m fed up hearing that I’m some sort of immoral pervert who can’t be trusted around children from unionist politicians. If they want my vote they can bloody well treat me with a bit of respect. And it isn’t just about homosexuality – it’s about anything that offends their mid-Ulster Calvinist morality.

    I mean, me getting jiggy with Mr. Sammy Morse offends Willie McCrea more than Billy Wright shooting a couple of dozen Catholics. That says an awful lot.

    And where are all the neo-con, post-sexual revolution, new right, liberated young Unionist politicians? Do they exist? And do they exist beyond Slugger?

  • PaddyReilly

    SM

    not to mention partition being copperfastened forever

    While not wishing to influence your choice of lower preference votes, I have to mention that

    1) The Good Friday Agreement made provisions for a referendum on the unification of Ireland;
    2) The Unionist percentage of the vote in 2005 was 51.4% or 51.8% if you count Conservatives;
    3) The 1.8% by which this exceeds 50% translates into about 13,000 votes;
    4) There is a well established trend for the Unionist vote to decline and the Nationalist to rise;
    5) That in NI Protestants are the majority among old people and Catholics among the under 30s;
    6) That at this rate partition will be beginning to work itself loose in a years time and will be completely loose in about 6 years;
    7) That the apparent change of heart of Sinn Féin is founded on this calculation.

    In the mean time I wish you well and hope that you eventually contrive to form a union with a member of the same sex but the opposite religion.

  • mcgrath

    Perhaps neither of you has grasped the irony of exactly what you are saying to T.Ruth. While you defend the rights of homosexuals to lead whatever lifestyle they choose, you lambaste T.Ruth for traditional Christian beliefs, to the point of personal insult. The hypocrisy!

    Posted by Oranges for Sale on Feb 01, 2007 @ 10:09 AM

    Where exactly did I say that anyone including T.Ruth could not believe in an invisible god that created everything, sees everything and knows everything? If someone is insulted because I dont share their view is hardly hypocracy.

  • 1) The Good Friday Agreement made provisions for a referendum on the unification of Ireland;

    So did Sunningdale, and one was even held. Your point is?

    2) The Unionist percentage of the vote in 2005 was 51.4% or 51.8% if you count Conservatives;

    The Nationalist share of the vote 41.8% (or 42.0% if you count Eamonn McCann). People will not necessarily vote in a border poll in the same way they do in a partisan election. And around 140,000 people voted in the 1998 referendum who rarely if ever vote in other circumstances; while they’re spread across Northern Ireland, the bulk are concentrated in the suburban dougnut about Belfast. Would they vote in a border poll?

    3) The 1.8% by which this exceeds 50% translates into about 13,000 votes;

    Bad maths, Paddy. The amount by which it exceeds all other votes combined is 26,000. The amount by which it exceeds the total nationalist vote is 65,000. And if you’re assuming all Alliance, Green, Deeny, Stick, etc., etc. voters are going to vote for a United Ireland, you’re reaching a bit.

    4) There is a well established trend for the Unionist vote to decline and the Nationalist to rise;

    Much of it based on the demographic bubble of the 1970s and 1980s. It wasn’t a well established trend until 1992, and as the young people coming on to the register are those who were born in 1989, that bubble is losing steam.

    In the last four years before the 2001 census there was a dramatic rise in the number of children being born outside either community, a trend which can only have developed in the last 6 years with a collapsing birth rate and, for the first time, mass immigration. What will these children do when they grow up? Who knows. Hopefully they’ll have more wit than to base their whole political argument on outbreeding the other lot.

    5) That in NI Protestants are the majority among old people and Catholics among the under 30s;

    Yes, but neither is a majority among the under 10s.

    6) That at this rate partition will be beginning to work itself loose in a years time and will be completely loose in about 6 years;

    Six years? You rather overestimate the speed of demographic change. Do you member “Victory ’72”?

    7) That the apparent change of heart of Sinn Féin is founded on this calculation.

    I very much doubt it. They are far cleverer than that. If they are still seriously interested in a United Ireland, they will be playing a much longer game than that.

    In the mean time I wish you well and hope that you eventually contrive to form a union with a member of the same sex but the opposite religion.

    Thanks for the good wishes, but Mr. Sammy Morse and I have been together for many happy years and have no plans to split up. In any case, I think you may have grabbed the wrong end of the stick about my religious background; something that more optimistic nationalists do about a lot of people when conjuring up future border poll fantasies.

    Oh, and, I’m not even sure what way I would vote in a border poll myself. Or even if I’d bother.

    Slán.

  • PaddyReilly

    Well, how do I reply to all this? The question is, whether partition is copperfastened forever. When the Unionist vote falls below 50%, as it did in the first preference votes for the European Parliament in 2004, I suggest that it has become a little bit loose. When it finally sinks irreparably below 50%, and when finally the make-up of representatative bodies comes to represent this, it will be considerably looser.

    When Unionism loses its grip on the reins of power, it is no longer able to perform the numerous small acts of discrimination necessary to maintain its power base. Equally, it is no longer able to reward its supporters who may then consider realigning themselves.

    Bad maths? No, different maths. 13,000 less Unionists on the books, 13,000 more non-Unionists, result, Unionist loss of power. But 26,000, even 65,000, is that really such a lot?

    Deeny voters I think it can be shown are liable to turn into SDLP in cases of non-availability of Deeny. After the second preferences of Centralist voters was expressed in the 2004 EU elections, the Unionist majority was 30,000.

    I would suggest that Hindus and the like have no more firm views on the partition of Ireland than you and I on the partition of the Punjab. Given a poll on the same, they will abstain, in the main, or cleave to one side or another in equal numbers. Consequently they are not statistically significant. Also this matter will be resolved before they come on the electoral roll.

    I don’t remember Victory 72. I do remember that when I heard people talking about a United Ireland in previous decades I though they were wankers. The non-Unionist vote in 1973 hardly reached 30% and half of those were Alliance. The republican vote was 2-3%. Nowadays, of course, the end is in sight.

    Do I overestimate the speed of demographic change? In some cases. I remember being surprised that Armagh Council produced exactly the same results in two elections with 5 years between them. But in urban areas, the change is much faster, and there I tend to underestimate the speed.

    But why argue? There’ll be an election in five weeks. Then we’ll be able to see

    Is the Unionist percentage of the vote going up?
    Is it going down?
    Is it miraculously suspended in mid air, going nowhere?

    Also we’ll be able to calculate the swing. But given that there’s been an election almost every year, and the swing is 5% per decade, but you don’t want to believe this, we won’t be any further ahead.

    However, if this calculation is correct, then the election results should show a decline in the Unionist percentage of the vote of nearly 1% from 2005.

    Mr. Sammy Morse and I have been together for many happy years and have no plans to split up

    Perhaps you’d both like to join a non-sectarian mutual masturbation group?

  • T.Ruth

    To YAAMad as a hatter
    Alevels Physics,Chemistry,Maths,Geography. Subsequent degrees included subjects inc. Psychology,Physiology,Kinesiology.Sociology,Economics.
    It is not what you study in life but what you learn.I think you need to be more tolerant and suggest you read the book of Hebrews in the New Testament as a beginning to study Christianity so that you are better able to make an informed judgement on God’s plans for us.
    T.Ruth

  • Perhaps you’d both like to join a non-sectarian mutual masturbation group?

    Paddy – are you sure you actually meant to type that? Would you like a little lie down?

  • BeardyBoy

    I agree with you on that Sammy – disgusting aside and I feel he let himself down.

    The whole post should be deleted

  • darth rumsfeld

    …er, Paddy, I have to break it to you bluntly-

    1. By your logic we were a minority in Ireland in 1918…and usuns didn’t care about that

    2 By my logic Unionists have a 100% win rate in elections for 86 years and themmuns keep wanting another recount, until they win one, when that’s the only result that counts

    Objectively neither side has not respected mandates when it didn’t suit them- and guess what- if it ever came about that there was a 50%+1 vote in favour of a UI I wouldn’t either- and (in spite of all the garden centre middle class Prods who gloomily predict eventual downfall- it’s a Calvinist thing, as Sammy knows-)nor would most Unionists.

    So you’d be left with frustrated ambitions of nationalists and jumpy hypersensitive Unionists on the watch for betrayal-yup the perfect concotion for “Troubles-the Rematch-this time it’s to the finish”. And no UK government is going to permit that.

    Soooo… the best nationalists can ever hope for is the Londonderry scenario-we get to keep the trappings of British identity and you get a free rein to..er reign in areas where you’re a majority, but if you go too far you’ll get smacked-ta v much Weatherup J.

    to paraphrase the old Sunday school chorus-
    too high- you can’t go over it
    too low you can’t go under it
    too wide you can’t go round it
    got to accommodate the Prods

    and no nationalist or republican has yet got it-geddit?

  • darth rumsfeld

    oops-delete the “not” in line 1 para2 above

  • Darth,

    “Objectively neither side has not respected mandates when it didn’t suit them- and guess what- if it ever came about that there was a 50%+1 vote in favour of a UI I wouldn’t either”

    At last an admission that the “Principal of Consent” is a bogus Red Herring. Apart from Unionists NEVER having been a majority in Ireland, even if you didn’t have a majority in your little area, size defined to give you a majority, you wouldn’t concede defeat on the basis which you have bitched and moaned about for 87 years.

    The GFA was wrong, bring back Articles 2 & 3, there is no PoC, it’s all a lie. At last the truth is out…

  • kensei

    “Objectively neither side has not respected mandates when it didn’t suit them- and guess what- if it ever came about that there was a 50%+1 vote in favour of a UI I wouldn’t either- and (in spite of all the garden centre middle class Prods who gloomily predict eventual downfall- it’s a Calvinist thing, as Sammy knows-)nor would most Unionists.”

    Sorry darth – am I reading that right? You saying you wouldn’t respect the principle of consent?

  • When the Unionist vote falls below 50%, as it did in the first preference votes for the European Parliament in 2004, I suggest that it has become a little bit loose.

    Well, it’s not 1954 with Brookeborough in Stormont and fair young Elizabeth on the throne… but it’s not Quebec in 1994 either.

    I would suggest that Hindus and the like have no more firm views on the partition of Ireland than you and I on the partition of the Punjab.

    Bad, bad analogy Paddy. I don’t have firm views on the partition of Punjab because I don’t live there. But if I’d spent the last ten years running a whiskey importing business in Srinagar, you’d damn better bet I’d form a view. I’d rather suspect Chinese people born and bred on the Ormeau Road have formed their own views too. What those views are is going to matter more and more as the ethnic minority population grows.

    Bad maths? No, different maths. 13,000 less Unionists on the books, 13,000 more non-Unionists, result, Unionist loss of power. But 26,000, even 65,000, is that really such a lot?

    No, wannabe fantasy maths that no serious political scientist would use. And yes, 65,000 is a hell of a lot in a small place like this, with barely over a million voters on the register. And, again, you ignore the 140,000 voters who voted on the GFA and not before or since. Do you really think they’ll all stay at home come a border poll?

    The republican vote was 2-3%.

    The Sticky vote was 2-3%. Most Republicans did not vote, because the Shinners boycotted elections. In some republican strongholds, notably the West Bank of Derry and North and West Belfast, those boycotts were quite successful. This depressed the overall nationalist vote in the 70s, just as the “burn your census form” campaign depressed the count of Catholics in the 1981 Census.

    However, if this calculation is correct, then the election results should show a decline in the Unionist percentage of the vote of nearly 1% from 2005.

    The decline in the Unionist share of the vote isn’t regular so it might be down by 1%, 3% or even up a little and that would mean nothing. Again, bad maths, and very bad interpretation of statistics.

    You don’t want to deal with four facts:
    1. Not everyone who votes for a nationalist party, let alone who votes for a non-Unionist one, is going to vote for a united Ireland. Even if there are more Taigs than Prods you still need to have a 100% watertight Catholic vote for constitutional change. That wouldn’t happen if a border poll were held today; there are lots of Garden Centre Taigs out there too.

    2. There are about 140,000 people who habitually don’t vote but did come out to vote for the GFA. The bulk of them live in mainly Protestant areas in and around Belfast. We don’t know what they’d do in a border poll.

    3. The birth rate is collapsing among both Catholics and Protestants, and is well below replacement for both communities.

    4. The population of Northern Ireland is changing dramatically due to mass immigration.

    The leadership of Sinn Féin know this as well as I do. If very much doubt they think partition will be crumbling in six years. Remember, Gerry Adams is the inventor of the Long War strategy; don’t you think he’s capable of playing a very long game – as in generationally long game – if he thinks it’s the only game to be played?

    Darth

    it’s a Calvinist thing, as Sammy knows

    Me? I’m a Catholic convert to the Church of Ireland (high church tendency). Calvinists scare me.

  • darth rumsfeld

    I know Sammy, and I verge on hypercalvinism. Be afraid…be very afraid

    As for the principle of consent -nah, it don’t float my boat- and truth be told none of you can truthfully claim to be slavishly devoted to it. First,at best you want to persuade me to change-thus not respecting my refusal to give consent . Then you tell me that some day in the future my consent will be overruled by a majority vote-ditto. Consent is just politeness, and it means nothing if it’s not coupled with the right to withold it

  • kensei

    “As for the principle of consent -nah, it don’t float my boat- and truth be told none of you can truthfully claim to be slavishly devoted to it. First,at best you want to persuade me to change-thus not respecting my refusal to give consent . Then you tell me that some day in the future my consent will be overruled by a majority vote-ditto. Consent is just politeness, and it means nothing if it’s not coupled with the right to withold it ”

    I hate to point it out, but it wasn’t us who invented the rules. In the event of a narrow majority for a UI, what exactly would you do?

    Anyway, darth, next time you start prattling on about democracy, you might want to shut the fuck up and not be a hypocrite.

  • Darth,

    You don’t own “Consent”. If you are a democrat you respect the wishes of the majority, if you disagree with the majority you argue vocally and, may I say in your case, eloquently against those wishes. But if you want to live in a democracy, and you claim to be a democrat, and you find yourself in a minority position, you will have to live with the implementation of the wishes of the majority.

    Personally I consider “Northern Ireland” to be an artificial construct, which was made with the express intention of delivering the maximum area which could sustain a UK Unionist majority. However due to the recognition of this entity as legitimate by the electorate of Ireland in 1998 I will accept it as an area which must deliver a majority in favour of unification, before unification happens.

    “Consent” in the PoC does not refer to “Unionist Consent” even though many unionists interchange the terms. By definition no Unionist will be in favour, or to put it another way “give consent” to a united Ireland outside the UK. If a majority of people in Northern Ireland give consent, there’s nothing (democratically speaking) short of trying to convince them otherwise, you can do. If you take up arms as an alternative to democracy I have no sympathy with you, just as I have no sympathy with those who take up arms in an attempt to force reunification (post 1998).

  • PaddyReilly

    By my logic Unionists have a 100% win rate in elections for 86 years and themmuns keep wanting another recount, until they win one, when that’s the only result that counts

    I know what you mean. Those disgusting perverts who want us to drive on the right have lost every vote ever taken, but when they finally get the legislation through, that will be curtains.

    It was the same with decimalisation. I gave what I thought was a 2p piece to the librarian the other day, and she gave it back, saying it was a very interesting coin, but it wasn’t English money. It turned out to be an old halfpence. She’d never seen one before.

    So I suppose one day we’ll being driving our grandchildren to Monaghan, and when we tell them we’re crossing what used to be the Irish border, get the same look of bored incomprehension as if we said we’d just entered the ancient kingdom of Bréifne.

    These of course, are measures taken in the interest of rationality and standardisation. Partition is the equivalent of the guinea or the rod, pole or perch, just a bloody inconvenience. It is desired by barely half of the folk it affects, and most of them benefit from it only in a kind of comfort blanket fashion. Unification is rational: distribution of public services would be much more efficient on an all Ireland basis.

    But worst of all, partition is blatantly undemocratic. The ECHR states that all sections of the population shall have equal political and civic rights. If one section of the population has the right to create and maintain borders, and the other doesn’t, then all fairness goes out of the window. It’s like playing cards with a man who reserves the right always to deal them, which he uses to ensure he always wins.

    So, o Darth, I don’t think you can regard yourself as hard done by. Your logic is no logic at all. And in any case, Scotland is threatening to emerge from an unwanted Union after 300 years, so these things are actually reverseable.

    From the Nationalist point of view, each election since some measure of civil rights and anti-discrimination were brought in has been a partial victory: it was at least better than the last. Once there was only one nationalist MP: now there are eight. When there are nine, it’s more or less home and dried. I perceive a growth curve: I think the Nationalist vote is going up.

    You, o Sammy, may choose to believe that it will stay at eight for ever, but you miss the point.

    A partition which is dependant on the dubious loyalty of disinterested Chinese or some other uncertain source is not copperfastened . It means that the matter is in the public forum and it’s up for grabs. It is not constitutional, it’s merely something that can be voted on.

  • You, o Sammy, may choose to believe that it will stay at eight for ever, but you miss the point.

    You’ve missed the point – Quebec has had a majority of Nationalist MPs elected on several occasions, both to the Assemblee Nationale and the Canadian Parliament; Quebec is still part of Canada because the Nats can’t win a referendum.

    Scots may well vote to leave the UK at some point in the next decades. However, having a majority from the sovereigntist parties in Edinburgh, let alone among Scottish MPs, won’t guarantee that.

    Either the Quebec or Scottish nationalists are more likely to succeed than Irish nationalists in NI because their society is less tribalised than ours, and there is more of a genuine middle ground to be won. But more importantly, they realise they actually have to go out and make a coherent case for independence instead of lazily waiting for demographics to do the job for them. As a result, there are a large number of people in Northern Ireland who vote for nationalist parties for a variety of reasons (strong negotiating position for ‘our lot’, hate the Jaffas, think the SDLP is the middle of the road party that isn’t too worried about a united Ireland anyway) who are not yet persuaded of the full on sovereigntist case for reunification.

    Before you go anywhere else, you need to win those people over and solidify the Catholic/nationalist ethnic voting bloc so tightly that you can get within spitting difference in a referendum. You haven’t even started that process yet (again lazily waiting for changes in the Republic to do it for you). The nearest anyone has come is the SDLP’s North-South makes sense and even that is more an attempt to outflank the Shinners than anything else.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “You don’t own “Consent”. If you are a democrat you respect the wishes of the majority, if you disagree with the majority you argue vocally and, may I say in your case, eloquently against those wishes. But if you want to live in a democracy, and you claim to be a democrat, and you find yourself in a minority position, you will have to live with the implementation of the wishes of the majority.”

    Agreed I don’t own “consent” but how exactly do I “live with the implementation of the wishes of the majority”. Did nationalists do this when boycotting Stormont, opposing the police, lobbying Dublin to set up PIRA in 1969? No, they represented their ideology as they deemed fit- disastrously but apparently with the tacit retrospective approval of the modern generation.

    “Anyway, darth, next time you start prattling on about democracy, you might want to shut the fuck up and not be a hypocrite.”
    I don’t. nationalism-British or Irish- is too complex to wave a democratic card. It seems risible to say you accept we are British pro tem and then spend your time wasting ratepayers money on trying to delete a modest British symbol- the name London- from the second city, the latest in a long list of whinges about themmuns displaying the symbols of the state.

    “Those disgusting perverts who want us to drive on the right have lost every vote ever taken, but when they finally get the legislation through, that will be curtains.”

    Nah, the proper analogy is to deride those who bluster that it’s better to drive on the right, and at every opportunity slide over to the middle of the road, don’t obey the rules of the road that benefit all, and call for a change that isn’t necessary cos the present sytem is working and always will work for everyone. Do try again

  • lib2016

    Sammy,

    You have one of the most interesting points of view on here but I would disagree with your assertion that SDLP supporters are less interested in a UI solution.

    Not in our family, they’re not! In fact in some ways the longer committment to finding a peaceful democratic way forward has meant a distinct lack of patience with unionists and their version of democracy.

    I’m quite happy to believe that the next few years will see huge changes in the unionist worldview but my SDLP-leaning relatives are avid to see the last few diehards being given the chance to do precisely that.

    Then again the SDLP are becoming increasingly rightwing, a process which unionists seem totally unaware of.

  • kensei

    “I don’t. nationalism-British or Irish- is too complex to wave a democratic card.”

    Don’t engage in sophistry, darth. You are rejecting the democratic principle that your representatives set up. You are threatening violence. Fair enough. You just lose the right to say anything about the IRA in that case – and in fact the IRA was less hypocritical in that it didn’t recognise NI as sovereign in any way.

    “It seems risible to say you accept we are British pro tem and then ”

    No, I accept the British rule can’t be removed here until with get a referenduum vote, and I accept you are British. I am an Irish citizen.

    “spend your time wasting ratepayers money on trying to delete a modest British symbol- the name London- from the second city, the latest in a long list of whinges about themmuns displaying the symbols of the state.”

    It is risible that you spend your time blocking the democratic wishes of the people of a city to so name it. If I must live under foreign influence, then I am going to do eveything democratically I can to minimise it. That’s the game, darth, in case you haven’t noticed

  • PaddyReilly

    I must tell a story I heard about Chinese voters. A certain M.P.- I won’t say who- thought that he might save his majority with the help of the proprietors of the local Chinese take-away and their family. He enlisted a friend of mine, who speaks Chinese, to go and ask them how they intended to vote. They said that they had read the literature of all the various parties, and decided that there was some good in all of them, and so consequently they would be giving their vote to all of them. Of course, this may be a fiendishly cunning Oriental way of telling him to f@ck off and mind his own business, but I think it serves as a warning to anyone who relies on the Chinese vote.

  • I would disagree with your assertion that SDLP supporters are less interested in a UI solution

    Actually, I don’t think I quite said that. Obviously some SDLP supporters are very interested in a United Ireland. Some less so. Do you really think Alasdair McDonnell is that bothered? Or Marty Morgan? Or Marietta Farrell? They represent a strand of NI Catholic society who vote SDLP because it’s a ‘moderate’ party that believes in cutting a deal to make NI equal. There’s also a strand of SDLP support that voted Alliance until the early 90s when they started voting SDLP to back John Hume over peace. They still haven’t come back, and as the person who masterminded Tom Campbell’s surprise comeback in Castle in 1997 based on bringing those people back, I feel I know what I’m talking about (although sadly it proved a one off experience).

    Even among Sinn Féin voters, there are stark differences in emphasis. Some people (obviously) vote Sinn Féin because they want a united Ireland. Some people vote Sinn Féin because they’re fed up with being walked over by the Jaffas (as they see it) but have no huge problem with the Brits, no desire to lose access to the NHS, don’t trust the Free Staters, etc., etc. I can even think of a few members of my extended family who are ex-IRA prisoners who would more or less think that way and would have probably ended up in the British Army had the Troubles not kicked off when it did. Then the UDA and UVF started picking people off the Antrim Road and Donegall Street at night and carving them up with stanley knives and they wanted to ‘hit back’.

    Changes in the Republic are dramatically affecting this – many more NI Catholics are happier with the idea of being part of a United Ireland than even 10 years ago, and people’s changed perception of the South, at least in my experience, is driving this. You have to remember just how many Belfast Catholics, even Belfast republicans, saw the South as an alien place where people talked funny and they had bad roads (and the b’stards sold us out in ’22).

    All that is changing, but it’s always more difficult to get people to try something new than it is to get them to accept the status quo; especially if the status quo involved record low unemployment, unparallelled prosperity, especially for Catholics, record numbers of Catholics in senior and influential positions, unparallelled acceptance for the Irish culture and identity, etc., etc.

    Real nationalists need to start persuading fluffy, cultural, nationalists (I suppose like me) why they should support change when life’s pretty good for us here if they want a united Ireland; then they can get to work on the Prods. Right now, I don’t see any sign of that – just wishful thinking about changing demographics and the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

    Remember Quebec nationalism should have been buried by changing demographics. Instead it posed a serious threat to Canadian unity for the first time since the days of British North America. They kept themselves alive by persuading moderate Francophone Quebeckers that they weren’t a crowd of Anglo-hating fascists who would bankrupt the Province; and by persuading a significant minority of immigrants from Africa and Asia that their future lay in an independent Quebec rather than Canada. There may well be lessons for NI nationalism there.

    Oh, they also encouraged differential immigration from French speaking countries. Not sure there is an equivalent in this case.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    As a confirmed atheist, I can still sympathise with the views of the OO and the various churches.

    The members of these have deeply held views which must not be discriminated against just because others do not agree with them.

    Gay people have no right to impose their views on others who do not agree with them.

    I would suggest keeping out of each other way and co-existing is the best solution.

  • Nevin

    “and the b’stards sold us out in ‘22”

    … and ’69 …

  • lib2016

    Sammy Morse,

    You are of course correct in pointing out that there is little enthusiasm anywhere for a simple takeover by the 26 County state.

    That wouldn’t lead to unity in any real sense and it is not what Sinn Fein propose. The battle to give Catholics acess to power in NI is being won as a cursory glance at what is actually happening on the ground will tell anyone who looks.

    The ‘old’ wing of the SDLP was about that and even in the sixties Fitt used to make socialists wince when he couched his arguments in that sectarian way.

    Sinn Fein uses the word equality because that’s what the bulk of Sinn Fein means. I’ll leave the shape of a future UI to the people who will live in it – Catholic and Protestant and Dissenter.

    One thing I’m sure of is that the reality of it will emerge before the referendum recognising it happens…..and it will be a hell of an anticlimax for the true believers, the fundys and the fior gaels.

  • marty (not ingram)

    The battle to give Catholics access to power in NI is being won as a cursory glance at what is actually happening on the ground will tell anyone who looks.

    Lib, I’m all for equal rights. In fact, I’m pretty close to being comfortable with a united Ireland.

    But I don’t share your view that “Catholics” have access to power. I’d rather look at it as Irishmen of whatever shape, colour or size. We need to lose the sectarian mindset.

  • joeCanuck

    just posting a longer test post.