Durkan calls for Border Poll…

Mark Durkan has called for an early poll on unification, and presumably the opportunity to campaign vigorously for a united Ireland. Given the DUP are pushing the degree of confidence within the Unionist community as a drop in those who think a united island is inevitable, they may well be pushing at a closed door.

  • páid

    IJP, not for the first time, hits the nail squarely on the head.

    First, we try the bullets.

    Now, the snake oil.

  • Sean

    Proves my point. I’d love to see a border poll to put nationalists in their place.

    Northern Ireland is distinctly British. You cannot take that away from its people.

    But, hey, have it your way. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

    Irish nationalism lives on “the inevitable”, what is the inevitable? This is the 21st Century where Britishness is beginning to be excepted on the island of Ireland.

    Nationalism is an old philosophy; that is now on the decline.

    Posted by Observer on Feb 28, 2007 @ 11:29 PM

    What is distinctly British of Northern Ireland? that a slight majority may or may not be in favour of staying in the Union? hardly seems distinctly British

    britishness has always been excepted on the streets by the nationalists its the Unionists that are coming to accept the nationalists, I mean even little ian is chomping at the bit to take up government with them

    it is the unionism and colonialism it entails that are an old and dieing concept infact northern Ireland is one of the very last bastions of this anachronistic outlook

    you and unionism are dinosaurs

    infact youre a brontosaur…..a big rump, a lot of neck and no brain

  • Wilde Rover

    This is hilarious.

    So this referendum would be like a group of Teletubbies leaving one nightclub and standing outside another.

    And the Green Teletubbies say EVERYONE has to go in to the new nightclub, and THEY will decide what music will be played and what drinks will be served, and who gets all the really cool cocktails and access to the VIP section.

    And the Orange Teletubbies say they are NEVER going into the new nightclub, and if the Green Teletubbies make them go in then there will be the Smashing of Glass, the Defecating on the Carpets, and the Hanging of the DJ.

    And by the time they have had it all out and the Orange Teletubbies are dragged to the door of the nightclub the Teletubby patrons inside the nightclub will have told the bouncers not to let ANYONE in.

  • BonarLaw


    “it is the unionism and colonialism it entails that are an old and dieing concept infact northern [sic] Ireland is one of the very last bastions of this anachronistic outlook

    you and unionism are dinosaurs

    infact youre a brontosaur…..a big rump, a lot of neck and no brain”

    First bullets.

    Then Snake Oil.

    Now ranting.

    And none of it works.

    How then, Sean, are you going to reconcile yourself, your views and aspirations to a Northern Ireland that is going to be around longer than the grandchildren of the children of the posters on Slugger?

  • Briso

    If the national aspirations of that minority cannot be reconciled to the state perhaps territorial adjustments could ease the pain.

    Posted by BonarLaw on Mar 01, 2007 @ 12:51 AM

    Et tu, Brute?

  • DK

    Mayoman: “It certainly argues that unionism, as a concept, for some protestants, does not hold as much sway as it once did, and it is these people that genuine proponents of an inclusive UI should be targeting. http://www.ark.ac.uk/publications/updates/update41.pdf

    OK – had a look at this. It states:

    39% of Catholics said they had neither a unionist or nationalist identity – the figure for protestants varied from 23% to 27%.

    This rather suggests the opposite of what you are hoping. Maybe you saw that the gap was closer in younger groups (although catholic still higher) and assumed that in the future more protestants would reject a unionist identity than presently catholics reject a nationalist identity? But that is hopeful speculation.

    On the bright side, it does suggest that secularism will continue to be the fastest growing denomination in NI and may well be the second largest group by 2011 census. Eventually, as in England, it should become larger than either Catholic or protestant.

  • George

    “the people of NI have always had a choice- last referendum was on 8th March 1973. Consent has always been with us and guanantees the union.”

    The big difference between 1973 and 2007 I hope is that both sides now fully accept the principle of consent.

    So nationalists accept they will remain as part of the UK as long as a voting majority in NI wish while unionists accept they will leave the UK and cede to the Irish Republic if a voting majority in NI so wish.

    Violence as a means of leaving the union or preventing unification isn’t an option.

  • BonarLaw


    That’s the reality, although I’m not sure that many nationalists realise the implications.

  • George

    if I may be so bold: I assume you want to live in peace and remain within the union. I want to leave in peace in an Irish Republic.

    I don’t want loyalists blowing up women and children in Dublin as part of some “policy” to make unification too “expensive” for the Irish people to bear.

    You don’t want the Provos doing something similar as part of some “policy” to make British rule in NI too “expensive” for the UK to bear.

    All I can say is that I like the clear implication that the threat of loyalist and republican violence is permanently removed from this island regardless of the constitutional situation.

    Nobody should have anything to fear from either unification or continued British rule.

    The “losing side” may not like it or particularly want to be ruled by the “other side” but they should not fear it.

    Everyone should be in a position to accept the prevalent rule of law, be it Irish or British.

    Northern Republicans should be in a position to be able to fully accept the British rule of law.

    If a different tomorrow ever comes, unionists should be able to be in a position to fully accept the then Irish rule of law.

  • The Dubliner

    Well said, George. Time will tell if hope and history rhyme on the matter of unionist militancy. But as that issue is many decades hence (if devolution doesn’t go arseways), then pleading now, however eloquent, is very premature.

  • Dougal


    “I’m not a Shinner. They merely get my vote at present”

    Head. Buried. Sand.

    The Shinners come from a tradition that only dishonours Irish Republicans. Their support for the Provisional movement was shameful and makes them unfit to have anything to do with the running of our country, (in any jurisdiction). When the proves were planting their bombs and adducting their fellow countrymen, they used the excuse that they were doing so in the name of the Irish nation and it’s people. The Shinners endorsed this. A vote for the Shinners therefore, endorses what they did. Shame on them and all who vote for them. Like I say, the “head buried in the sand” attitude is sickening and belongs at the arse-end of Irish society. Though some dishonourable Irimen may be able to ignore the atrocities carried out in their name, thankfully there are more who can’t and won’t!

    Simply because we “had more severe pressures” in the 70’s and 80’s is not a reason to conclude that is not a factor in determining why people vote for the Shinners. As I have alluded to in previous posts, I believe that social and demographic changes coupled with voter apathy is a stronger reason.

    I do agree that what “Nationalism needs is two or more parties competing and producing good ideas”. Sadly, I don’t think we have that just yet; indeed, I would be happy if we had one party! I could be equally critical of the SDLP and their failings though they are entirely “political” in the traditional sense.

    What doesn’t help Nationalism is the self-serving, power hungry approach to politics as adopted by SF. They should be bending over backwards (with considerable honesty and humility) to build bridges with the moderate Nationalist voter. This will never be achieved by bullying, hype or spin. However if it were possible, it would consolidate the Nationalist vote which, when speaking with one voice, is surely much stronger?

  • abucs

    looks like simply “shoring up the green credentials” before the election.
    No harm done, i’m sure.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    It’s tribal pandering in this sense Mick.

    They have no intention of following through on it. They’re making the promise now in a pre-election manifesto to try and out green SF. They made the promise before, in 2003, and didn’t do anything to follow through.

    I think there’s something to be said for a preferendum rather than a yes/no referendum. This gives a number of options – more than two.

    If the SDLP were serious about this unification business, they would coalesce with one party south of the border. They currently maintain links with FF, Labour and FG, in order to preserve the status quo. On the one hand they talk about “North South Makes Sense” and on the other they want reunification. North South presumes that there’s partition – Reunification abolishes partition – which is it to be? Is North South a stepping stone to re-unification? I wonder what FG, FF and Labour’s REAL position on re-unification is – and if they’d be happy with just ‘north southery’.

  • Dougal

    Oily is talking shite again…, no change there then!

    To suggest that the proposal by Mark Durkan is simply the SDLP trying to “out green SF” is as ridiculous as it is narrow minded. Firstly, the SDLP don’t need to try any such methods. The Shinners represent the dirty arse end of Irish Republicansim, having supported the gangsters who are prepared to leave other Irishmen dead in a ditch if they disagree with them.

    The SS (Shinner sycophants) aside, the Nationalist community at large recognises that it is in fact SF who are trying to copy the SDLP and gain the moderate Nationalist ground. With disention in their own ranks, they are now being openly challenged by former comrades who accuse them of being no different to the SDLP. Of course this is wrong as the SDLP has never supported the abduction, torture and murder of any person, least of all their fellow countrymen!

    Oily’s shite talk extends to his wilfull misrepresentation of the North-South Makes Sense campaig run by the SDLP. For all the lies by the Shinners about them being the only “all-Ireland” party, they remain a small party with little influence regarding Irish politics in the South. No they carry on their shite with talk about coalitions but that’s what you’d expect from them, “spin”, “hype”, “grandiose promises” but little substance. The SDLP has excellent working relations with all the main parties in the South and this angers resentfull Shinners like Oily. i am happy to let others make their own mind up about the “North-South Makes Sense” campaign which can be found on the SDLP website

    “North South presumes that there’s partition “

    The dirty Shinners might not like but they should brush up on their Irish history. I’ve got news for Oily…, PARTITION EXISTS! it does not in any way, presuppose that it will always exist.

    As said in a previous post the dirty Shinners should stop trying to belittle every idea and effort put forward by the SDLP. but what can you expect from someone who have supported the treasonous Irishmen?

  • Greenflag


    “The future may hold a permanent unionist majority and a permanent very large nationalist minority. If the national aspirations of that minority cannot be reconciled to the state perhaps territorial adjustments could ease the pain.”

    Another convert to Repartition . Thank you Bonar . The sooner Northern Nationalists and Republicans accept the political reality of the Unionist minority in the North East of Ireland and the local Unionist majority in East Ulster then the sooner a permanent political solution can be found . Northern Nationalists and Republicans will be better off anyway in a larger Republic .


    Where is Greenflag when you need him, eh?

    GF is here . So what was it you needed ?:) The Benn thread pursues this ancient ‘argument ‘ further if such is possible .

  • Poor deluded Dougal. He doth protest too much, methinks. Perhaps he’s been hanging around the magic roundabout too much and been taking too much of the local brew.

    The reason that the SDLP gets support from the southern parties – it’s simple. It’s because the southern parties see the SDLP as a party which will maintain the status quo of partition. So as long as the SDLP gets support from Pat Rabbitte, Enda and Brian Cowen et al, it will be a partitionist party. North South makes sense is straight out of the Eoghan Harris handbook and if were s stepping stone to a United Ireland, it wouldn’t be getting the support of the Establishment Parties in the south. They want the economic market of the north and all those advantages, but they definitely don’t want anything more than that.

  • Dougal

    When Oilly is caught on the hope out drips the same old Shinner shite “He doth protest too much, methinks”

    It is only right and fitting that he recognises that “SDLP gets support from the southern parties” but really, to suggest that the support the SDLP receives from them is purely because the southern parties actually “want to maintain the status quo of partition.” is simply rediculous. Does Oilly know this for a fact? Of course not. he’s talking Shinner shite again. Noone other than the treasonous Shinner sycophants really believe this, quite simply because it is not true.

    The Shinners really don’t like the fact that the SDLP have such a good working relationship with the southern parties. An example of this can be seen in the vitriolic responses from people like Oilly.

    People have become acustomed to the Shinners trying to defend the indefensible.

    People have become acustomed to the Shinners trying to excuse the inexcusable.
    But they really sound piss-drunk on their own hype when they come out with lines to suggest they’re the only party that wants to see an end to partition. “Not the SDLP. Not FF. Not FG. Not the PDs. Not the southern Labour party. Just SF” Does Oilly really believe the southern parties are only concerned about the economic market in the North but nothing else?

    he may think I protest too much but it looks like he doesn’t think enough!

    right and everyone else

    It could only be the arrogance of the Shinners to suggest