On the green grassy slopes of the boyne

First Minister Ian Paisley and RoI Prime Minister Bertie Ahern are to meet at the Boyne site today. Paisley has rejected opposition claims that it will boost Bertie Ahern and Fianna Fail’s election campaign. The visitor centre is due to open next spring.

  • pith

    Mr Paisley said it would show “how far we have come when we can celebrate and learn from the past”.

    How disgusting to listen to that sort of remark from him of all people. How far WE have come? Cheek of him. How far you have come since you started your 50 years of hatred campaign would more like it.

  • I think with that above statement Ian Paisley is trying to denude any intelligent thinking, which is actually coming up with those claims in the first place.

    It’s all a stage managed publicity stunt on both parts but I still can’t get my head around the complete volte-face of the DUP with its long-standing principles.

    At least Sinn Fein had a strategy which you could second guess and which most people knew was going in this direction; but, the sheer underhandedness of the DUP to get where it is today is despicable, given the fact that it just wasted more time, created power vacuums, doubts which led to tension, all seemingly done in order to see that old octogenarian sit in a leather embossed seat at Stormont.

    Politics, either recently in France or Northern Ireland too is all about stoking up fear, presenting the worse perception of what could ever happen, articulating that view and then offering up yourself and your Party as a means to overcome this perception.

    So having acheived this, it’s just another bit part in the Paisley Empire PLC, Stormont and Churches and wealthy families.

    For those with a clear mind and steady sense of purpose of the last 10 years, DUP politics are more than revolting they are unprincipled.

  • Kevin

    ‘RoI’ doesn’t have a ‘Prime Minister’.

  • Pith,

    You beat me to it by 1 min but bang-on you are too.

    It’s a disgrace, and the commentator on Hearts and Minds last night was totally right with his take on how people feel about it all – people are not impressed with the two little ethnic wind-up merchants now sitting up on the hill all smiles.

    I noticed on Slugger the profound shot of Paisley and Adams, noted as being the money shot but it was the headline close below it which stated 3,700 dead and to me that summed up the failure of both their politics. I felt uneasy at seeing it.

  • Glensman

    Correct Kevin,

    and there is no such place as RoI no matter what the soccer team would have you believe. It’s Ireland, Éire or Éireann. Page one of the Irish Constitution.

    And i think Prime Minister in Irish is Priomh Aire? So Bertie is certainly not prime minister.

  • Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, not Prime Minister Ahern. Unless you know something Gordon Brown doesn’t….

  • Glensman

    🙂

  • Keyser Söze

    No matter what’s denied or promoted, Bertie has timed this as an election ploy, no bones about it, and would feel he’s probably owed and now calling in some of the perks from what he’s put into the whole thing. Top of the headlines, pushes policy issues into the background, and makes the southeners feel guilty if they were to boot out such a world statesman….

  • JG

    Well done on Mr Paisley for attending the site of the biggest papal victory in Irish history.

    How times have changed.

  • Two Nations

    Ian Paisley scores election points in the ROI.

    who’d a thought it?

    Election Checklist 2007
    1. Kiss a baby.
    2. Hug a pensioner.
    3. Shake the Big Man’s hand.

  • I Wonder

    Talk of kissing:

    “I get down on my knees, and do what must be done

    And kiss Achilles’ hand, the killer of my son.”

  • Ian

    “And i think Prime Minister in Irish is Priomh Aire?”

    Yes but what’s “Taoiseach” in English?

  • Wilde Rover

    The literal translation is leader.

  • páid

    Erm….good point Ian. Kind of Clan Chief I think.
    Although, at a push, I’m not sure it’s incumbent on FD to refer to Bertie as Taoiseach. I’m sure he would refer to President Sarkozy rather than Président Sarkozy.
    On Raidió na Gaeltachta, Blair is Príomh Aire not Taoiseach.
    Not legging it to get offended on this one 🙂

  • people are not impressed with the two little ethnic wind-up merchants now sitting up on the hill all smiles.

    Well, they voted for them. You make your own bed and you have to lie in it.

    Ian Paisley scores election points in the ROI.

    I am Tommy. None of this is real. I am actually playing pinball. I am very good at pinball. No-one else can sense my demented dreams where Ian Paisley pops over the border to help the Taoiseach with an election stunt…

  • merrie

    The Battle of the Boyne lasted less than two hours, some say even around 30 minutes. What an influence those few minutes have had on Irish history, even though the two kings fighting were English (one originally Dutch).

  • Ziznivy

    The Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland will surely get little electoral credit for this.

  • DC

    “people are not impressed with the two little ethnic wind-up merchants now sitting up on the hill all smiles.

    Well, they voted for them. You make your own bed and you have to lie in it.”

    Having said that the argument is now running that the people kicked them off the street purposefully into Stormont so as to give our heads peace, if you like. At least this way they could do their arguing without violence but with the power they were craving and have now got. Hopefully it will lead to transparent politics, in so far as they can now be judged as to effectiveness of policy and ability.

    Before, it was cloak and dagger politics and propaganda victories – now we will see what they are made of via Northern Ireland Assembly Offical Reports. Testing of their mettle.

  • fair_deal

    merrie

    “The Battle of the Boyne lasted less than two hours, some say even around 30 minutes”

    Depends what you choose as your start and end point of the battle. Anyway it was hardly the Williamites’ fault the Jacobites scarpered so quickly 😉

  • GavBelfast

    Just what DID they put in Paisley’s tea recently?

    Was it a near-death experience that prompted his summersault?

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope all of this works, but never surely has such a transformation been performed on the political stage.

  • merrie

    Fair Deal:

    >> the Jacobites scarpered so quickly 😉 << You are right there, FD. And then there was that panic that overcame the Irish at Kinsale. With regard to Kinsale I sometimes wonder whether Babd the goddess of war actually made a visit on that day.

  • Gréagóir O’ Fráinclín

    After the momentous events today (and the few past weeks) I hope Unionists will be willing to pay a visit the Boyne site in county Meath.

    Let a bit of optimism prevail.

  • merrie

    >> never surely has such a transformation been performed on the political stage<< GavBelfast: I think there were intimations that Paisley was turning a couple of years ago, but events overcame this. A false start. Also there are other Irish events which are similar, though not necessarily political: 1. Lundy at the Siege of Derry 2. The re-conversion of Miler Magrath 3. At the last minute James II changing his mind about fighting William of Orange at the Boyne. What nickname would you give Ian Paisley?

  • Philip

    Likewise Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom whereas the North of Ireland is not! And for the record where is Derry in Northern Ireland – not even the courts recognise it:P

  • Miler Magrath

    I always wanted to set up a Miler Magrath Summer School on Ecumenism…

  • protorious

    Am I the only one that imagines a playful slug on Paisley’s shoulder spiralling out of controlling and leading to a muddy fight on the banks of the Boyne?

    Nothing Sectarian now… I just imagine both Bertie and Paisley as balls of rage. Don’t let Bertie fool you with his teddy bear eyes, the mans a killer.

  • “And for the record where is Derry in Northern Ireland – not even the courts recognise it”

    Philip,

    Try ringing DERRY City Council and they will help you to find it…!!

  • merrie

    I hope there will be better road signage when the new centre opens. First time I only found the site by accident.

    The second time I went to visit the site I thought I knew the way. There was the signpost to the “Battle of the Boyne”. I kept finding signs directing me to the site. I’d follow them and I ended up at the first sign.

    Admittedly I am not very good at directions. Once when I was leaving Armagh, intending to return to Belfast, I found myself in Coalisland.

  • GavBelfast

    What nickname would you give Ian Paisley?
    Posted by merrie on May 11, 2007 @ 01:52 PM

    I’ll get back to you later when I’ve considered whether it would be worth a yellow (maybe even red) card to say, even in mirth!

    What does tomorrow hold in store for him? Fulfilling his Sunday obligation by going to Saturday tea-time Mass before going to a Dana International Eurovision party and piss-up?

    😉

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>What nickname would you give Ian Paisley?<< Those very reasonable people over at voice4democracy who don't moderate their comments for dissent at all (honest) ;¬) have nicknamed him Pope Lundy the first. A cracker!

  • bertie

    “Well done on Mr Paisley for attending the site of the biggest papal victory in Irish history. ”

    It’s a shame the the RCs leave it up to us to commemorate it. Indeed Eleventh Night bonfires dhould actually have an efigy of the Pope concerned as honoured guest – and no I specifically meant not on the bonfire 😉

  • BP1078

    Strange times we’re living through indeed.. Dr Paisley accused of helping Fianna Fail’s election campaign by visiting the Boyne with the Republic’s Premier… any time travellers from 1990 arriving here by accident, yes, it’s true, LSD has now replaced Guinness as the island’s drug of choice.

    And what was Big Ian on when he said this:

    “Certainly he is not going to go over the Boyne to take us over and I don`t know if we are going to have to go down it to get over.”

    Translation please?

  • Truth & Justice

    We won the batttle of the Boyne and we won the battle of Stormont No Surrender!

  • GavBelfast

    We won the batttle of the Boyne and we won the battle of Stormont No Surrender!
    Posted by Truth & Justice on May 11, 2007 @ 09:40 PM

    Oh dear!

  • PaddyReilly

    “And i think Prime Minister in Irish is Priomh Aire?”

    Yes but what’s “Taoiseach” in English?

    The word, though literally Clan Chief, was no doubt intended to be the equivalent of Fuehrer, Duce and Caudillo. The Kibbo Kift also had a silly title for their leader.

  • merrie

    Truth & Justice: 9:40 pm – you left the Friday night knees-up at your Orange Lodge a little early, didn’t you?

  • Aisling

    Two foreign old monarchs in battle did join
    Each wanting their head on the back of a coin
    If the Irish had sense they’d drown both in the Boyne
    And Partition throw into the ocean

    -Dominic Behan

  • Truth & Justice

    Merrie

    I a girl so i hardly think im an Orangeman!

  • merrie

    T&J: Are women banned from attending Orange Lodges?

  • darth rumsfeld

    T & J
    just as a matter of interest how did “we” win the “battle” of Stormont? When was this great struggle exactly? Who are our hallowed dead, struck down in the cause? Jim Allister and the Ballymena councillors perhaps?

    Unless “we” means you are one of the burgeoning group of Punt apparatciks employed by the MLAs, and “battle ” means the fight for pensions and mileage on top of salary.

    I hope you’re just young, otherwise only staggering hypocrisy would allow you to forget the things Unionists were prepared to stand up for, all of which Marechal Petain has abandoned.

    A quick refresher
    1 No Dublin interference in NI
    2. No SF/IRA in government
    3. No mandatory coalition
    4. Terrorism to be treated as crime and punished accordingly.

    In the past the DUP were quite happy to break the law to defend these principles- so was I . Now we are told that the people have chosen this path-as they clearly have. But a principle is not dependant on the public’s endorsement. It is immutable, even if you’re the only one holding it.

    Well I for one look forward to the collective squirming when the Pope visits NI and all our DUP ministers desperately find excuses to fill their diaries with functions in Ballygobackward rather than take their oil to give him a civic welcome

    BTW paddyreilly what is the Tanaiste in English? Something like Prince of Wales/Dauphin perhaps?
    And do confirm or deny the persistent rumour in unenlightened circles that the literal translation of Fianna Fail is rather more earthy than soldiers of destiny

  • merrie

    Tánaiste is a deputy, not an anointed successor to the Taoiseach. In ancient times a Tánaiste would not necessarily expect to become Taoiseach, and another person could be appointed Tánaiste at any time (also without expectation of eventually becoming the head honcho)

    The meaning of Fianna Fail is a little too modern for me to know!

    It is interesting to read your list of unionist principles. It seems that the last unionist leader left standing has let unionists down. Only item 4 has been partly adhered to, and that not much.

  • Inspector Clouseau

    Darth,

    The “battle” for Stormont has been going on for decades. In what forum could the descendents of the planters have representation?(I myself have two young boys who will need political representation in the future.)

    I don’t like the present sitation but believe the deal Robinson(not Paisley) is the best that could be achieved. The Unionist negotiating position was irretrievably compromised in 1998 (shouldn’t you know that first hand?). The DUP’s biggest blunder has been over spinning what really could be achieved, to get votes that they would have won anyway. But there has been some losses clawed back.

    Dublin input in more accountable to Stormont assembly.

    SF are no longer really Irish Republicans. FGS they now endorse the support of a British police force and justice system on the island of Ireland. This point has been massively undersold by the DUP.

    Allister and the Ballymena councillors may claim never to have compromised their “principles” but what future would they have offered those who have a British identity living and working in Northern Ireland in 2040?

  • GavBelfast

    Back to the semantic nonsense about titles and translations, I see. There’s nothing like searching for offence and petty squabbling to avoid actually discussing and debating the big picture stuff is there?

    Does anyone seriously think Bertie gets annoyed when, alongside Blair, he’s referred to as the ‘two Prime Ministers’? I strongly doubt it.

    Truth & Justice,

    Your claim “I a girl” maybe explains the e-mail address then. If you haven’t picked your GCSEs yet, History and Politics would be handy choices.

    😉

  • Objectivist

    we won the battle of Stormont
    Paisley could have had powersharing with nice, moderate, harmless Gerry Fitt all those years ago.And this at a time when unionists had a roughly 3:1 parliamentary sway over nationalists and at a time of pretty inconsequential north/southery.Now they are stuck with the former head of the Derry PIRA, with nationalist and unionists on rough representative level pegging, and a substantive North/South dimension.And you call that a victory?
    In the (let’s face it highly probable ) eventuality of Paisley being physically indisposed, McGuinness become *acting* first minister.It amazes me that so few people realise this.

  • Truth & Justice

    darth rumsfield

    Yes im young, but its better than being a darlek however when you consider Sinn Fein have just signed up to a British Assembly. Unionists have a total veto over government departments and ministers and North South Bodies, pledge their allegence to a British police force then i think it is a good time for Unionists unfortunetly there are those who have no vision for the future and their hatred clouds their judgement and the facts!

  • Miss Fitz

    Glensman
    I’m surprised no one picked you up on your earlier post in which you stated that there was no Republic of Ireland

    From wiki:

    The Republic of Ireland Act was an enactment of Oireachtas Éireann passed in 1948, which came into force on April 18, 1949[1] and which declared that the official description of Ireland was to be the Republic of Ireland. It officially made Ireland a republic and marked its exit from the Commonwealth.

  • TAFKABO

    This story shows how far we’ve come. The posts on this thread show that we still have a long way to go.

    Fuck the begrudgers

    Which would appear to be most people writing here…..

  • GavBelfast

    Yes im young, but its better than being a darlek however when you consider Sinn Fein have just signed up to a British Assembly. Unionists have a total veto over government departments and ministers and North South Bodies, pledge their allegence to a British police force then i think it is a good time for Unionists unfortunetly there are those who have no vision for the future and their hatred clouds their judgement and the facts!
    Posted by Truth & Justice on May 13 2007 @ 12:21PM

    Oh dear, oh dear!

  • The Third Policeman

    T&J while I’m not trying to worry you and ruin what to me is still a joint victory for both unionists and nationalists (i.e. a victory for the people) I really don’t feel your reasons for this unionist victory of the ‘battle for Stormont’ (??!!) amount to much.

    I mean lets look at them shall we?

    Firstly the most hyped and yet really practically meaningless republican concession in years. Support for the police. I would say that the DUP handed the shinners a massive favour with this. Support for the PSNI and Guards was something I’d say Gerry and co had been itching to get at for a while. They just needed a reason to give to their supporters. A quick pay back, like, say, oh, devolved government. This apparently massive concession is allowing them to grow in support in not only the north but also the south where many simply just couldn’t see the reasoning for not supporting the police. They have no memory of RUC brutality, all they see are the shiney new PSNI with the sort of accountability many would love to see the Gurads have. You think SF would be heading for double figures in this new Dail without first supporting the police? And pre-StAA SF could never hope for even an informal coalition with any of the southern parties.

    Add to this all the newfound power (God don’t they just love that) to be had on the policing board and the hope of a nationalist P&J minister at Stormont. Lets not forget the long term effects of what will hopefully become a 50/50 apolitical force controlled from Belfast. It makes that transition to UI all the more easy dosent it? We wouldn’t worry about the likes of the fire brigade or ambulance drivers striking in protest of a referendum would we? They just do their job and don’t get involved in constitutional politics. And yet with the current PSNI I think many small ‘n’ nationalists would just be a little bit scared to vote for unity for the response from what is still quite a unionist dominated police force. But sure give it 10 years under the new arrangement and we’ll see..

    Now of course I can see why the DUP demanded this concession; in an attepmt to embarress SF, bolster their image as the ‘tough’ Unionist party and of course because of genuine and indeed somewhat justified unionst fear and anger of SF not supporting the law. However if they meant it as some kind of block to unity they were dead wrong. Practically it means nothing and ideaologically it means very little. The real concession on ideaology from SF was accepting the principle of consent but of course that was won under the UUP’s watch so they DUP can hardly throw that up as a unionist victory (when of course it actually was the greatest one since 1922). The SNP are firmly behind Britsih law and order, will it stop them from winning independance for Scotland? Not a jolt. Because it means nothing. The only support SF lost in the whole thing was from old style Republicans to whom its just too much. Fair enough. I respect that. But SF have already replaced them in votes and they’ll still be there to vote for independence in a referendum, so republicanism has lost nothing there. Of course the phrase ‘pledge alligance to a British force’ is a bit sickening for us but well, its the 21st centuary and we gotta be flexible and practical in our struggle.

    Cont…

  • The

    Now while what you see as SF ‘signing up to a British Assembly’ I would argue that SF have delivered local government for Northern Ireland from Ireland. No more ineffective and unaccountable birect rule ministers. Now we have ineffective but at least accoutable local ministers! A SoS forced on us without our say or input from West Minster has been replaced by men and women that we voted for. The faceless direct rule ministers have been replaced with a man from Ballymena and another from Derry. Its not the end game by a long shot but its a step in the right direction. We can now concentrate on rubbing out the border bit by bit and integrating north and south as one again. It’ll take a while and won’t be simple but, I believe anyway, the economic, political and indeed social arguements are definately in our corner.

    And finally that unionist veto. Its definately there, you’re right in that aspect. But then sure, isn’t the nationalist one just as potent? It takes two to tango in this assembly. Hmm if I may be slightly sharp for a moment I’d have to say that this is one aspect where the old unionist feeling of superiority still pokes through. The idea that unionism has this great and powerful veto you can use to scare us into submission at Stormont. Then there’s the notion that Paisley is the PM of NI with McGuinness as his little fenian helper. I worry if some didn’t quite catch how this new agreement will work. Equality in all sense of the word beins at the the top with the two first ministers and works its was down. But don’t worry if you feel alone in mot getting it, just wait till we see a SF first minister. God help us the slabbering we’ll all hear then from republicans.

  • The Third Policeman

    Aye well obviously the post from ‘The’ was fom myself. I’m good but I don’t have a superiority complex so large I see myself as simply the ultimate and final ‘The’. Close, but not quite The…re yet.

  • lib2016

    Of course there had to be a restoration of a Stormont administration if republicanism were to continue forging ahead. Does anyone really think that the British Army could leave a vacuum behind them?

    The EU wouldn’t have stood still for it for a moment.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “unfortunetly there are those who have no vision for the future and their hatred clouds their judgement and the facts!
    Posted by Truth & Justice on May 13 2007 @ 12:21PM”

    truly we are living in the end times. To be lectured and accused by a DUPer of having no vision for the future is surely a first. Yep, all this was really part of Punt’n’Doc’s masterplan.

    It’s 1973 and young Robinson says to his leader “It’ll be tough, but if we can only get the Shinners into a powersharing government with all-Ireland bodies by 2007 we might even get a few seats in Brian Faulkner’s cabinet. But to make the trap convincing we have to spend thirty years fighting against it”

    Am I mad? Or in a coma? Or have I really been transported back in time? Hmmm. Sounds like an idea for a popular TV series there.Let’s call it “Life in Stormont”. Nah, too unbelievable.

  • pith

    Truth & Justice,

    You’re predictive text isn’t working properly.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Darth

    “1 No Dublin interference in NI
    2. No SF/IRA in government
    3. No mandatory coalition
    4. Terrorism to be treated as crime and punished accordingly.”

    Okay, I’ll give you number four (though with the caveat that it’s endlessly problematic on several levels) but your first three bullet points are not principles – they are policies. Principles are general, these are specific. You also seem to define a “principle” as something that people are “prepared to stand up for” but again, that’s an inaccurate definition. One might be prepared to stand up for, fight for, break the law for, a policy, but there’s a difference between being hardline on a particular policy, and holding to a principle.

    Irish republicans, for example, have only one principle: that all the people and peoples of this island should have complete and unfettered sovereignty over this island, and that that sovereignty should find its expression in the form of a Republic.

    All the other so-called “sacred cows” are just policies to be used when they are useful, and jettisoned when their jettisoning is useful, in service of this fundamental principle.

    What do you think are the real principles underpinning unionism? (Natch: unionism cannot be a principle in itself. Not a serious one, anyway.)

  • bertie

    Billy
    No mandatory coalitions is a principle

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Bertie

    Can you clarify how it’s a principle? What is the principle at stake here? (Honestly, I can’t see it.)

    Would it make you feel better if it was called a national government?

  • darth rumsfeld

    “all the people and peoples of this island should have complete and unfettered sovereignty over this island, and that that sovereignty should find its expression in the form of a Republic.”

    Billy Boy,
    your one principle is actually several, and equally policies to be jettisoned as and when. Firstly all the people do not have sovereignty- they have a representative democracy and a limited franchise. There are no soviets in Stillorgan.
    Secondly it is fettered by the free decision of the people to join the EU, and by inter-governmental treaties.
    Thirdly, why refer to “peoples”? Is there a provision in the irish constitution-assuming that document to be acceptable to you- that distinguishes one people from another? if so, how are you saying those differences should be recognised constitutionally? If a people votes to remain in the UK does republicanism say”Fair enough”? Thought not

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Darth

    “your one principle is actually several, and equally policies to be jettisoned as and when.”

    I grant you, it’s a complex principle, but it is a single one. There is nothing within it that can be jettisoned. I’ll try to explain what I mean.

    “Firstly all the people do not have sovereignty- they have a representative democracy and a limited franchise. There are no soviets in Stillorgan.”

    Not true. In a Republic, the people DO have sovereignty. The Oireachtas is not the sovereign of Ireland, in, say, the way parliament (with the crown as a constituent part) is sovereign in the UK. As Ireland is a Republic, it is the people of (the Republic of) Ireland who enjoy sovereignty over (the Republic of) Ireland. (Bracketed bits to be erased upon reunification…) This is one way in which a Republic differs from a Constitutional Monarchy – a technical difference, but one grounded in principle. And since we’re talking about principle…

    “Secondly it is fettered by the free decision of the people to join the EU, and by inter-governmental treaties.”

    Again, this doesn’t infringe Republican principles, as these are treaties freely entered into by the people of the Republic (ratified by referenda). It is also within the competence of the Irish people to withdraw from these agreements if they were to choose to. Hence these treaties are exercises in sovereignty, not examples of the lack of it.

    (A nation is sovereign within the community of nations the same way an individual is free within a free society. It’s not about living in splendid isolation, nor is it about having the power to escape the consequences of our actions. It’s about having the right to make your own decisions and chart your own course – naturally that means living with the reality of consequences, it means having friends and competitors and so on. It’s life. You don’t have to be Caesar to be a free man. Nor does a nation require total self-support or impunity in order to be sovereign.)

    “Thirdly, why refer to “peoples”?”

    Ah yes, my rhetorical excess catching up with me. Was just putting that in there to stress that when one refers to the “people of Ireland”, that there is nothing exclusive about that phrase. (You know the way when unionists refer to the “people of Ulster” they mean the Protestants? You know the way “the peoples of Ulster” means something entirely different? That’s all. Feel free to ignore my belt-and-braces approach, and please don’t read anything dubious into it.)

    “Is there a provision in the irish constitution-assuming that document to be acceptable to you- that distinguishes one people from another?”

    No there isn’t. I do support and fully respect Bunreacht na hEireann, though I would be in favour of an entirely new Constitution in the event of reunification. (I fully respect BnahE, but to be honest, I don’t think it’s a classic.)

    “if so, how are you saying those differences should be recognised constitutionally?”

    Perhaps we could have 12 July and 17 March as our two National Days, marked both north and south?

    “If a people votes to remain in the UK does republicanism say”Fair enough”? Thought not.”

    Well, since the principle is that sovereignty for this island should reside on this island, then it’s hard to square that with someone seeking to locate that sovereignty (or part of it) overseas. It’s clearly a tautology that the abandonment of sovereignty can itself be a sovereign act.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “It’s clearly a tautology that the abandonment of sovereignty can itself be a sovereign act.”

    ..er not if the people are sovereign.If I am sovereign of my own body and I decide to cut my arm off, I’m still me after I’ve done it. I don’t need to carry my limb around in a bag to be me.

    I do accept much of the rest of your post, though I wonder if the republic could withdraw from the EU in practice, even if it could in theory.

    But the 12th of July idea also wouldn’t work, since it’s a Protestant day, not a Unionist one> Sylvia Hermon would combust at the thought of a parade on her lawn though she’s a Unionist in the strict sense. That’s why the orangemen at Rossknowlagh are at ease with commemorating the victory.

  • bertie

    Billy

    “Bertie

    Can you clarify how it’s a principle? What is the principle at stake here? (Honestly, I can’t see it.)

    Would it make you feel better if it was called a national government? ”

    No I would not feel better. It reveals a lot about you that you suggest I might.

    The principle of no mandatory coalitions is a democratic principle. Any majority of representatives has the right to form the government.

  • bertie

    Billy
    I take back the first comment. It was unjustifiably narky. 🙂

  • kensei

    “Perhaps we could have 12 July and 17 March as our two National Days, marked both north and south?”

    Actually, I’d suggest a third for recent immigrants too. Mainly because I like days off.