Irish unification for 2024: nah, science fiction surely?

The clip they wouldn’t let you see. As Johnny Caldwell on BBC online notes, “has never been shown on terrestrial TV in UK or in the Republic of Ireland and initial airings on Sky One were edited”. Why? Because it not only posits Irish unification by 2024, but entertains the possibility that terrorist campaigns can be deemed legitimate, when all other means are exhausted. You can see the whole unexpurgated version at the Cathedral Quarter Festival in May, if you dare!Sean Kelly “We’re not showing it in a partisan way, and we certainly don’t want it to be seen as any kind of propaganda. We’re showing it because of the issues it raises in relation to censorship,

,

  • SuperSoupy

    ISS Censorship Enterprise.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Irish unity – a suitable subject for space cadets.

  • “Irish unification for 2024”

    More chance of Scotty recharging his dilithium crystals off the mains.

  • Mick Fealty

    And yet, at one time this was deemed to strong for the plain people of Northern Ireland‘s blood. What has changed?

  • SuperSoupy

    Changed? For the worse maybe.

    The Terrorism Act 2006 means the legal basis for this kind of censorship has been strengthened not reduced.

  • Dave

    Gerry predicts 2020 maybe he sits at home each night watching this epidsode of Star Trek with his pal Ian with tea and refreshements served by wee Jeffrey.

  • hotdogx

    who knows the star trek writers might not be two far off, unionism as always in totally rejects the possibility of a UI.

  • Ahh was going to post details analyis of this episode and the use of sci-fi and especially Trek as a dramatic conceit to discuss awkward moral conundrums, but feared being outed as a Trekkie geek…damn I’ve outed myself! Ho Hum, back to listening to metal….(BTW whole episode is worth viewing as it throws up questions that Ian and Jeffrey will squirm at and Gerry will wriggle when hearing…dialogues good too) Damn secret Trekkie identity out for definite now!

  • Doctor Who

    Sean kelly

    “We’re not showing it in a partisan way, and we certainly don’t want it to be seen as any kind of propaganda. We’re showing it because of the issues it raises in relation to censorship,”

    CQAF often gets accused of promoting left field projects mainly from a Nationalist perspective. Sean is again leaving the festival wide open to these allegations.

    Although he sees it as raising the issues regarding censorship, the form the discussion will inevitably take will be a mope that all talk of a UI is a taboo. If he serious about raising the discussion about censorship there are many better examples to use. After all Star Trek is an inferior show to my own.

    Furthermore Sean Kelly and his CQAF patrons are very selective when it comes to censorship, does anyone remember local playwrite and CQAF patron Martin Lynch protesting outside the Waterfront Hall because some Isreali children where performing a dance routine.

    What a clingon.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    2024? I thought Gerry had been trumpeting 2016 as some sort of symbolic landmark.
    Well no matter, he’ll have to get his skates on to persaude a majority of Unionists to vote for a UI in time for either of these dates.
    So far it has to be said he’s not doing too well.

  • SuperSoupy

    This incident shows how censorship, self or imposed, ends up ridiculous. With the additional restrictions of the Terrorism Act it is very relevant to a discussion on the arts and censorship as it writes large the repercussions of legislating against opinion.

    For one above it becomes an exercise in, out the IRA supporters in the arts community – more pathetic than the original decision.

  • Roisin

    Gerry Lvs Castro,

    A majority of unionists? Don’t think so. It requires a minority of unionists to cross over to the bright side to make 50%+1.

  • The Men of the White Confederate Van Cometh

    Well, it doesn’t say how it happens, just that its terrorisms fault, plenty of loyalist terrorists out there, maybe Ireland rejoins the Kingdom? Or perhaps more likely we’re united in Europe?

  • SuperSoupy

    Apologies, I just took Dr Who’s comment seriously. Just saw the time, the pubs have closed.

    What Mick describes as the ‘bar-fly commentators’ will be logging on.

  • heck

    was’nt there some unionist on Slugger who said he was proud to be british because it has a free press?

    could we all agree that Nor Iron needs a “first amendment”?

  • Mick Fealty

    heck,

    Did you miss this:

    “…never been shown on terrestrial TV in UK or in the Republic of Ireland”

    A ‘First Amendment’ under the Republic’s constitution would fundamentally clash with Article 40 6.1.i, where freedom of speech is potentially severely circumscribed, surely?

  • SuperSoupy

    Mick,

    The legislation that could have made this illegal in Ireland was lifted in 1993. In Britain it and similar is now even more restricted, it’s now a terrorist offence of itself – glorifying terrorism is what they call it. Brtitain moved beyond censorship to criminalising those that write things like this Star Trek episode last year.

  • SuperSoupy

    btw:

    Under 40 6:1 i – ‘in accordance with the law’ – there is currently no law that would make that episode illegal in Ireland. Britain is another matter.

  • SuperSoupy

    Mick,

    On get your claim that freedom of speech is ‘severely circumscribed’ under the irish constituition:

    “undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State”

    Are you seriously claiming those are major restrictions, severe ones?

    The next paragraph is about compliance with the law – any laws jump out to you?

    A claim without substance? Barrack room law?

  • I wonder…

    Did anyone (on Slugger or elsewhere) ever expose, or outlay the fundamental argument for or agsaint a UI. (HINT: visit ATW and be convinced of a UI)

    From my POV as a reasonable 38 yo, all those who wanted to kill in pursuit of their POV have ceased to promote their POV. I have evidence that a certain contributor to Slugger expresses a violent solution. He will in due course be syubject to the forvce of law.

  • heck

    OK mick

    I will grant you that the republic of ireland needs a “first amendment” as well.

  • againstthehead

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2005/Political_Attitudes/NIRELAND.html

    i think before SF try to convert Unionists to a UI, they should maybe try converting northern catholics! lol, UI by 2020 my sides are aching!! 2120 might be realistic, and by then I’ll not lose any sleep over it. with global warming maybe with luck the north will dispear into the ocean…

  • abucs

    Stay tuned for the new Star Trek captain from Ballymena with 2020 hindsight.

    He uses warp factor 9 to go back to 2020 and changes it all yet again !!! :o)

  • Greenflag

    If it’s been on Startrek it must be true.
    If the British Government censors it it must be true. Spot the difference !

    HM Starship No Enterprise has been ‘warping’ away it’s role in Ireland for so long now that it’s Ministry of Truth has all the credibility of a Ferengi used car salesman !

    Unionist viewers of Startrek would no doubt have been so outraged that they would have burnt out their TV’s and rampaged through Belfast attacking every Trekkie Fenian who had been beamed down !

    It would seem that HMG’s censors do not overestimate the ‘intelligence’ of the average Unionist couch potato .

  • TAFKABO

    Nevermind this episode (I first heard of it from a Canadian geek friend about eight years ago)does anyone remember the episode from the same series in which they find the planet inhabited on one side by Irish, and on the other side by English?

    It’s hilarious, and that’s the one they should be showing.

  • Pelagius

    I am doubtful about the effectiveness of censorship. I think it is ultimately destined to fail as legislating against public, (and popular?), opinion is never a good thing for any government.

    The interesting point about this scene is not so much the date, (I bet Gerry now wishes he’d never mentioned 2016!), but the inference that “the Irish problem” will be resolved.

  • “Unionist viewers of Startrek would no doubt have been so outraged that they would have burnt out their TV’s and rampaged through Belfast attacking every Trekkie Fenian who had been beamed down ! “

    Actually I learned of this years ago, while still in my teens. My only reaction was more of a “here we go again” with the reunification project being romanticised to the point of enducing vomit for the wishy washy notions of clueless (“Irish”) Americans. Yes its depressing that they fall for the same old ballocks (hook like and indeed sinker) time and time again, but its not something any of us are likely to lose sleep over.

  • Doctor Who

    SuperSoupy

    “For one above it becomes an exercise in, out the IRA supporters in the arts community – more pathetic than the original decision.”

    So you imply that Sean kelly of the CQAF and Martin Lynch are IRA supporters within the “arts community”. Perhaps you are confusing Sean with his namesake Shankill bomber. Im quite sure neither will be amused by you “outing” them.

    “Apologies, I just took Dr Who’s comment seriously. Just saw the time, the pubs have closed.”

    I do believe that it is your comments which are flippant, reckless and inapropriate and for what it´s worth where I live the pubs are just getting lively at 1am.

    The idea that CQAF show this as prelude to a discussion on censorship is more ridulous than not showing this rather inoffensive piece of nonsense in the first place.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Soupy:

    The Terrorism Act 2006 means the legal basis for this kind of censorship has been strengthened not reduced.

    If An Phoblacht refused to publish an article describing Bobby Sands as a terrorist, would that be censorship ?

    Mick:

    And yet, at one time this was deemed to strong for the plain people of Northern Ireland‘s blood. What has changed?

    What has changed ? The episode still hasn’t been shown on TV.

    Why does the video clip included in the post claim that the show was “censored by the British government” ? I’ve seen no evidence that this was the case. The clip also claims that the show was censored by the BBC, forgetting that Sky hasn’t shown it either.

    heck:

    could we all agree that Nor Iron needs a “first amendment”?

    No, because the first amendment wouldn’t help. What is happening here is voluntary self-censorship; broadcasters holding back from publishing things for fear of causing widespread offence. This happens in other ways too; ask the Dixie Chicks who paid the price for daring to express their political opinions in public.

    Try broadcasting a programme predicting the success of Al Quaeda starting with the 9/11 attacks in the USA, and see how many stations are willing to show it.

  • smcgiff

    I’ve seen that ep on Sky a few years back. I hope they’re wrong – I’d hate to have to wait until 2024!

  • Roisin

    Stalin,

    [i]If An Phoblacht refused to publish an article describing Bobby Sands as a terrorist, would that be censorship ?[/i]

    The above would be an editorial decision, not censorship.

    Both the BBC and RTE are state broadcasters. As such, their decisions can be construed as censorship.

  • heck

    comrade stalin

    do you remember the drama on british TV in the 70’s which portrayed a britain of that period assuming germany had won in 1945?

    If my memory is correct, the head of the state broadcasting system on that programme made what I thought was a very british comment “we don’t censor, we make editorial decisions”

  • fair_deal

    Does the old reliable ‘multiple parallel universes’ sci-fi storyline not get them out of this prediction?

  • Sinn Feinner

    Gerry Adams has been telling us all that Ireland will be united by 2016 a hundred years after the rising.
    I have no doubt that Holywood has taken script ideas fron Sinn Feins speeches that have been broadcast worldwide and adopted by Governments all over the world involved in conflict resolution.
    The Middle-East road map was based on a Sinn Fein plan that Sinn Fein drew up to get three Irish aid workers Brian Keenan John McCarthy and Terry Waite released by Al Qaeda.
    Sinn Fein did all the behind the scenes negotiations with the White South African government who refused to talk to Black politicians like Denis Tutu to bring the ANC into all inclusive talks and power sharing.
    Sinn Fein also were heavily involved with leaders of the Catholics of Croatia to bring peace and stability to both Croatia and the mainly Protestant Serbia.
    In Colombia peaceful elections are being planned to bring the two religions of Colombia into all party negotiations.

    So now that the Americans have seen the tide of change sweeping across Ireland they want to be in on the act trying to keep silly programmes up to date with historical fact… doh your a bit late boys Sinn Fein have already bagged the united Ireland or perhaps you should come back when we have to find a peaceful solution to Iraq for you

  • Greenflag

    ‘to bring peace and stability to both Croatia and the mainly Protestant Serbia.’

    Serbia is predominantly Greek/Russian Orthodox .

  • Sinn Feinner

    Yeah but the other predominant religion is protestant

  • TAFKABO

    The “other” predominant religion?

    Not quite as predominant as you may have previously been led to believe, eh?

  • Doctor Who

    Sinn Feinner has definately come through a breach in the time vortex. He is from the paralell universe that fair_deal mentioned.

    Or maybe he is just a complete fantasist.

  • BBC Fan

    At least Sky had the guts to show tv’s first interracial kiss unlike those cowards at the BBC.

  • Rory

    While “the Mexican rebellion against Spain ” is confusing (the successful Juarez rebellion in Mexico overthrew the Austro-Hungarian puppet, Emperor Maximillian, who was supported, unsucessfully, by French troops) and the “Irish unification of 2024” is crystal=ball gazing, I fail to understand why the screenplay writer didn’t simply cite the American War of Independence as an example of “power growing from the barrel of a gun”, mainly the guns of the “terrorist” Continental Army, not to mention those excellernt practitioners of “terrorist” guerilla warfare, the Minutemen.

    The USA – a nation established by “terrorist” rebellion against the forces of law and order and the government of the day? Surely not?

  • BP1078

    Yeah but the other predominant religion is protestant

    Sinn Feiner,
    No it isn’t.
    The second most *popular* religion in Serbia is Roman Catholicism, third Islam.

  • Sinn Feinner

    Maybe your right about Serbia I guess I was mixing it up with Bosnia, but that don’t matter the fact is that it was Sinn Feins people on the ground that helped bring about peace using what influence they had and showing them how the Irish peace process worked.
    All I was saying was because republican negotiators are head and shoulders above any other negotiators about at the moment a lot of Governments are learning from them at the moment, this is probably why the American TV networks are following the Irish situation very closely.
    Although they made a mistake in the script saying 2024 when it will be 2016 as the party have already officially said it would be.

  • austin

    stop trolling ‘Sinn Feinner’ (Feinner?)

  • Sinn Feinner

    Austin what do you mean by trolling I’m not lying to anyone

  • Doctor Who

    When it is quite clear that thre will not be a UI in 2016 or 2024 or indeed 2525, who are republicans going to blame. The Shinners that lied to them or will they do the usual and say “dem pradesins”.

    What is it bones?
    Well Jim it´s a dellusional lurgy called “Pipe Dream” found exclusively in a confused people called Irish Republicans.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Roisin:

    The above would be an editorial decision, not censorship.

    What’s the difference ?

    Both the BBC and RTE are state broadcasters. As such, their decisions can be construed as censorship.

    The BBC is not a “state broadcaster”; the very term implies political control, which is expressly ruled out by the BBC’s own Charter (I’m not familiar with the exact regulations around RTE). There is nothing anywhere that says that the BBC must show or publish a given programme.

    The idea that the BBC makes political decisions in this respect is absurd given the recent history over their coverage of the Iraq dodgy dossier, etc, clearly a far more serious matter than an insensitive comment on a science fiction show.

    To overlook the decision not to broadcast the same show taken by the commerical broadcasters in the UK exposes your political bias on this matter. Sky obviously chose not to show the episode for the same reasons that the BBC had – there’d be an uproar. If the state had intervened to block the broadcasting of the show, you’d have a point. However, I’m aware of no such restrictions; you can buy the video/DVD releases of the episode in question, and the trekkies have all seen this years ago. You’re making a non-argument.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Comrade Stalin

    “The above would be an editorial decision, not censorship.
    – What’s the difference ?”

    An editorial decision is a decision taken by an editor on what he chooses to carry in his publication/tv station – the kind of decision editor’s are in the business of making on a daily basis, a decision that might be based on an infinite number of different grounds. (eg taste, relevance, legibility, quality, legal issues, likely impact on perceived audience – but mostly, will it help sell newspapers/draw viewers.)

    Censorship is when the state intervenes into the editorial decision-making process of a newspaper/publisher/broadcaster, and denies an editor the right to choose what they print/broadcast.

    If we set aside legal issues (classically, a sub judice legal case), the only reason I’ve ever heard of, for a state imposing censorship, is displeasure with the political content, or political ramifications of, the material in question.

    There’s no legitimate comparison to be drawn with a newspaper editor giving his readers what he thinks they want, or declining to carry material that he thinks they’ll hate.

    It’s not censorship if the BBC decide not to show Star Trek – it is censorship if the state is telling them (either on or off the record) that they can’t.

    Furthermore, there’s a fundamental distinction to be drawn between a work of art and a piece of journalism. There is no meaningful comparison to be drawn between, say, the British government’s censorship of newspapers during both world wars, with the Irish government’s censorship of Ulysses.

    It’s tedious to have to spell out the obvious.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Comrade Stalin

    PS: The rest of your post is either: so mendacious as to amount to a flat-out lie; or proof that you haven’t a clue about the BBC.

  • SlugFest

    Sinn Feiner,

    “So now that the Americans have seen the tide of change sweeping across Ireland they want to be in on the act trying to keep silly programmes up to date with historical fact… doh your a bit late boys …”

    This particular episode was first aired in January of 1990 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708799/). That said, I’d think if anything those silly Americans were way ahead of their time — and Sinn Fein may well have taken their cues from Hollywood writers.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    On another note, I wonder if Mick ever says “Make it so, Number One” to Pete. 🙂

  • bootman

    What aboput the episode of the simpsons wherea British fish and chips shop is blown up on St patrick’s day?

    Is it still censored?

  • bootman

    two minutes and 10 seconds in

  • Aldamir

    The Star Trek episode in question was, so far as I am aware, shown on the BBC back in the early 1990s, but the single line referring to Irish unity was edited out.

  • BBC Fan

    Bootman There are two answers.

    No and not quite. It will make some showigs and not others.

    Like when Flanders gives Todd a loaded gun in case Flanders go a bit crazy outside the shelter-ini.

  • firinne

    Against the head…

    I studied that survey. It looks hugely skewed. Not just for one year but continuously.

    The 1998 Survey showed a 7% support for SF – that compares with a vote of around 16% I think.

    The 2005 Survey showed a 9% support for SF – that compares with a vote of around 24% for the party.

    Is it just me or does this indicate that questionnaires continue to be rigged against SF voters?

    The sad thing is that those surveying blame the respondents – “SF voters are reticent to come forwards/SF voters are ashamed”. That’s rubbish. The reality is that those surveying wouldn’t know their way past the end of the M1 motorway. It’s just too hard to drive up mountains to inhospitable countryside to get the ones and twos that live in all those rural houses. Instead, if they get West of the Bann at all they stay canvassing the village centres – which are easier but result in total bias. Republican strength is highly rural – the more rural the more solid it becomes.

    Until you have a survey demonstrating a vote for SF approximately equal to that it receives in the election – you cannot derive any other useful data from it. It is just flat biased. The Catholics interviewed are undoubtedly unrepresentative and all other information derived should be subjected to rigorous challenge.

    Le meas,

    DoC.

  • Bill

    Blame the pollsters.

    In one of the Euro elections a telephone poll was done with 24% of respondents going for a particular candidate. Needless to say you cannot participate in a telephone poll without a telephone.

    I believe the 1928 or 1932 US presidential was done in the same manner and Democrats supporters in the main were without phones.

  • Greenflag

    Sinn Feinner,

    ‘Yeah but the other predominant religion is protestant’

    Here are the votes from the Serbian jury on the religious demographics in their country .

    Eastern Orthodoxy   84.1%
    Roman Catholicism   6.24%
    Islam   4.82%
    Protestantism   1.44%

    ‘Maybe your right about Serbia I guess I was mixing it up with Bosnia’

    No maybe about it . As to your mixing up Bosnia for Serbia I regret to inform you that Protestantism is even less predominant in Bosnia than it is in Serbia .

    Here are the votes from the Bosnian jury on the religious demographics in their country .

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Sunni Islam – 48%
    Serb Orthodox Christianity- 37%,
    Roman Catholicism -15%
    Protestants- 0%

    ‘All I was saying was because republican negotiators are head and shoulders above any other negotiators about at the moment ‘

    And have been for a very long time mainly because the other side (Unionism) was not interested in negotiating with anybody apart from themselves alone .

    ‘a lot of Governments are learning from them at the moment’

    I doubt it . So exactly what lesson from the NI peace process has the rest of the world learnt?

    A DUP/SF Intro to Permanent Peace Making in 6 easy stages for conflict resolution .

    Lesson 1 :

    1) Engage in a mix violent sectarian conflict and anti colonial resistance at a sustained level for about 17 years . Ensure a high body count .

    2) Engage in no talks about no talks for a further 10 years with intermittent cease fires .

    3) Have a referendum followed by another 10 years of farting around getting paid for nothing as with the previous Assembly/Assembly’s .

    4) Through political irresponsibility ensure that the local economy becomes even more of a public sector dependent basket case over a period of 40 years .

    5) And then Hey Presto -God will provide a ‘miracle solution’ with Reverend Paisley and Gerry Adams each invoking the aid of a supposed Almighty despite the fact that each has ignored the same said Almighty’s admonition to love one’s neighbour as oneself for the past two generations ?

    6) Finally go down on hands and knees and beg the colonial power that you need more public sector funds to help destroy even more the basket case economy which you have helped to create over 40 years of head in the sand blind and utter stupidity’

    Why do I have the feeling that there are not to many countries or conflict situations around the world who will be learning from the NI &*^%#@&* process !

    ‘such as they are can not beare this is probably why the American TV networks are following the Irish situation very closely. ‘

    No it’s just that the American TV networks are getting ready to ‘prepare ‘ Americans for the ‘resolution’ of the Iraqi problem . It’s not widely reported as yet that the vast majority of the 2 million or more Iraqis who have fled the country in the past few years are predominantly Sunni Muslims thus ensuring that the future Iraq will be a carve up between the now newly oil rich Shiites and Kurds . The Sunni’s ( the former middle class and Hussein Loyalists are being ‘ethnically cleansed ‘

    So that’s what bringing ‘democracy’ to Iraq means in practice . The overturning of the former economic and political power of the 20% minority . The failure of the representatives of the Sunni minority to ‘engage’ in politics since the American ‘invasion’ has now led to their present even more woeful predicament.

    Deja vu time again !

  • Brian Boru

    It’s not impossible. I don’t think many Protestants will be persuadible but if they eventually become a majority then bringing it about will only require getting enough of them to vote for it. 2024 is probably on the optimistic side though, as some demographers believe that the most % Catholics could be by that time is around 51% – and even a small minority of them voting against it would – in the absence of Protestant support – prevent it happening for the time-being. However hopefully it will eventually happen.

  • Brian Boru

    Sorry slight mistype earlier I mean’t:

    “I don’t think many Protestants will be persuadible but if the Catholics eventually become a majority then bringing it about will only require getting enough of them to vote for it.”

  • Sarah

    If Home Rule is to pass, much as I detest it and little as I will take responsibility for the passing of it, my earnest hope, and I would say my earnest prayer, would be that the Government of Ireland for the South and West would prove and might prove such a success in the future, notwithstanding all our anticipations, that it might be even for the interests of Ulster itself to move toward that Government and come in under it and form one unit in relation to Ireland.

  • Anonymous Coward

    It’slife Jim but not as we know it.