“it certainly has not brought about the era of good feeling that we hoped”

The Irish Times breaks the news that professor of Irish politics at the Queen’s University of Belfast, Paul Bew, is to become a member of the House of Lords – wiki-bio here. Guardian profile from 2004 is here.. and is where the title quote can be found.

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  • The very least that a decade of handling the Turtle deserved.

  • Butterknife

    I remember well A-level politics when i wrote:
    In 1972 William Whitelaw the first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland prorogued her Parliament in favour of direct rule which commentators assumed would be ‘temporary’ [Bew].
    They were the days …….

  • lib2016

    The old guard at the NIO paying off their bills before they go or just rewarding a ‘safe pair of hands?

    How blinkered can unionists get to the changes happening all around them? The end of the UUP wasn’t the ‘beginning of an ice-age’ but the long awaited thaw at the end of one. Whatever the DUP is and that’s still in question, it is at least Irish to the core rather than a poor imitation of the British Conservative Party.

  • BonarLaw

    lib2016

    “How blinkered can unionists get to the changes happening all around them?”

    As blinkered as one whose nom de plume anticipates the Unions’ demise in nine years time?

    BTW regardless of what happens on 26th March the NIO ain’t going anywhere.

  • lib2016

    BonarLaw,

    The Equality Commission have been pointing out for some time that the Civil Service is increasingly staffed by Catholic females at junior and middle ranks. Furthermore they have pointed out that this is the decade in which that process will extend to the senior ranks.

    There is a clear case for positive discrimination in favour of Protestants but due to idealogical fundamentalism no-one to put it. As an unrepentent Civil Righter I’m forced to speak up, I can do no other.

    It is of no use to anyone to make NI a cold house for Protestants.

  • DK

    Lib – for some time you have been pushing with delight your pet story of how the civil service is about to become dominated by Catholics.

    I’ve no doubt that you are probably right, but would such people be interested in a united Ireland that would mean at the very least job insecurity for their hard-won posts, and at the worst the dole.

    In other words, should Lib2016 really be Union2016.

  • lib2016

    DK,

    “..the civil service is about to become dominated by Catholics.”

    A process which is also going on in the professions and everywhere else except the shrinking manufacturing industries and the increasingly integrated security industry.

    My experience is limited to my own acquaintance of course but the middleclass and the SDLP do not seem to me to be any less nationally minded than Sinn Fein voters who would tend to come from a wider range of society.

    I would suggest that you may have put forward a valid reason why Sinn Fein made their about face and became supporters of a devolved Stormont administration.

  • Crataegus

    lib2016

    Imagine you were a Civil Servant, mortgage to pay and young family and there was a border poll would you vote for possible unemployment? You may decide to vote with your head rather than your heart.

    In my opinion for a united Ireland to work you first have to make NI work and you have to ask what sort of Ireland? Should the North (perhaps Ulster) have its own regional Assembly within Ireland?

  • Greenflag

    Crataegus,

    ‘you first have to make NI work ‘

    Sounds like commonsense but it may not be . One could legitimately question the cost of trying to make the ‘unworkable’ work, given the past 40/80 years . There comes a time when the 20 year old banger /80 year old State gets to the point where diminishing returns set in, and any further expense in terms of resources /money / or political energy simply does’nt pay.
    There are some ‘political problems’ that are unresolvable within the ‘status quo’-reason being that in these cases ‘status quo’ means the mess they ar in!

  • middle-class taig

    Why would civil servants become unemployed in a united Ireland? Did East German civil servants get handed a P-fünfundvierzig in 1992?

  • Crataegus

    Middle class Taig

    Why would civil servants become unemployed in a united Ireland?

    Most accept that the Civil Service is on the large side in NI. If you were harmonising the systems then job losses are likely. Those losses would be more likely in NI than in Dublin unless there was a considerable transfer of Civil Service Departments.

    As I said you would need to thing through what type of Ireland.

    Greenflag

    You are right on many things but I will disagree with you on the old repartition solution. It won’t work unless you also ethnically cleanse both the areas. The populations are hopelessly mixed, Yes there are more Unionists in the East and more Nationalists in the West but then what of places like West Belfast, Ardoyne, the markets, Newlodge, Short Strand etc.

    I’m hoping that the electorate suddenly realise the old banger needs a new engine and there has been and is progress though it is painfully slow.

    I think change when it comes will come fast.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Crataegus: “You are right on many things but I will disagree with you on the old repartition solution. It won’t work unless you also ethnically cleanse both the areas. The populations are hopelessly mixed, Yes there are more Unionists in the East and more Nationalists in the West but then what of places like West Belfast, Ardoyne, the markets, Newlodge, Short Strand etc. ”

    I seem to recall some of our less enlightened Loyalist posters suggesting repartition would be a good time “to go to work” on those areas, much in the same fashion a rodent goes to work on a nest of chicken eggs, I have little doubt.

  • seabhac siulach

    Crataegus:

    “In my opinion for a united Ireland to work you first have to make NI work and you have to ask what sort of Ireland? Should the North (perhaps Ulster) have its own regional Assembly within Ireland?”

    Are you a secret Sinn Fein supporter? (Joking)
    As you may or may not know, Sinn Fein (Republican, the one that is now…) advocate a nine county Ulster parliament within an Irish federation, made up of provincial assemblies…
    See http://www.rsf.ie/eirenua.htm
    Whether you agree with their ideology or not (and I assume not), I have always thought that this idea had many attractions, not least devolving power in Ireland from Dublin to a more local level…

  • Crataegus

    seabhac siulach

    On regional Assemblies in Ireland I have always agreed with SF. It is a good idea though the population is small. People in Kerry can feel as isolated from Dublin as those in Coleraine might.

    With that in mind I would have thought that it is extremely important to Republicans to make NI work as a model for elsewhere.

    The South is over centralised on Dublin and that benefits no one.

    Where I disagree with SF and other political parties in the North is on the use of violence as a legitimate political tool. I would never vote vote for anyone (in normalish circumstances) that would resort to violence, or hypocrites who help legitimise thugs.

  • BonarLaw

    lib2016

    *yawn*

  • Plum Duff

    lib2016

    Much as I might understand your viewpoint re the potential head-count (vis-à-vis religion) in the upper echelons of the civil service, although I think your slant is somewhat sectarian, what you envisage just ain’t gonna happen. The powers that be do *not* appoint radicals – either Fenian ones or Prod ones. They appoint clones. People like themselves. Non-boat-rockers. In past years, religion might have played a large part. No longer. As long as you support the status quo, you’ll be in with a shout.

  • John Farrell

    I think I can say without fear of contradiction that Paul Bew is the only person to have been on the 1969 “Burntollet” march to get into the House of Lords….cant actually see Michael Farrell getting in.
    But I am kinda surprised.
    Is it reward for his work or as non-advisor to Trimble.

  • Lorcan

    What has any of this deabate got to do with Paul (Lord) Bew.

  • lib2016

    Lorcan,

    The title of the thread refers to an ‘era of good feeling’. Surely it is important that the large portion of the population which formerly felt disaffected is now increasing both in importance and in confidence?

    More worrying is the necessity that NI not become a cold place for Protestants. We need to find ways to work together.

    As for Lord Bew? He’s gone to a place where he can continue to provide an acceptable voice for unionism. Given some recruits there his voice may be needed.

  • Mick Fealty

    Lorcan,

    I was directed to this thread from another that was similarly being skewed away from the original content. We are in danger of just having yet another single transferable conversation here.

    I would like to think that each thread here is primarily for those who have something relevant to say. But, sad to relate, the mere mention of the terms ‘unionist’ or ‘British’ and we have a good half dozen regulars prepared to sink the same repetitive boots in to wreck the conversation before it gets started. And we end up talking about Irish Unification instead. It’s not as though there isn’t enough material on that elsewhere on Slugger!

    I’m not quite arguing that it is against the Slugger rules as such. But it is routinely killing off any possiblity that others can hold any kind of an informed conversation in the first place. A sort of pre-emptive strike if you like…

    If it didn’t so regularly give rise to uninformed and devoid of falsifiable detail ranting, I’m not sure I would object. All I am asking for is take a look at the topic first before you launch into that single transferable rant. And then try to tell us something we don’t know, already!!

  • Observer

    Regardless of Bew’s non-advisor role to Trimble, or purple-turtle he is worthy of the role of a Lord given that he has contributed greatly as a scholar to Irish Politics and History.

    A more worth while appointment if you ask me than some of the other fogies in there.

    Particularly those ones that bought their titles.

  • Bill

    Professor Bew, beware of peelers!