Unionists “don’t matter”

That is according to one blogging representative of Irish Nationalism.

Some of the stuff on this topic is nonsense. First, to many across the UK, we already have a British Day, it’s Remembrance Sunday. Of course United Irelander does make some reasonable points on this, for example that the whole idea is a New Labour gimmick in the light of the elections to the devolved institutions. But I was interested to note how he responds to the Unionist “children of the nation”.

  • lib2016

    Ruth Kelly is the grand-daughter of an IRA man interned for resisting the imposition of the border, and a member of Opus Dei to boot. The relationship between Ireland and England is fundamentally changed.

    Mickey Shilliday’s (What a very Irish name!)idea of Britain is as out of date as the Remembrance Sunday version of the British Empire and it’s struggles.

    We’re all moving on, including Sinn Fein and all the major Irish and British parties. Unionism is excluding itself, not being excluded.

  • Before anyone else gets in and says it: most of us bloggers represent our own thoughts/analsys. By and large, it takes a mandate to be ‘a representative’. 😉

  • Shore Road Resident

    Contrived celebrations of national identity are a subject of interest only to socially-inadequate nutjobs, of the British or Irish variety.
    Most of the comments on the BBC forum confirm this, as indeed does United Irelander himself.

  • I’d like to second what Mick pointed out – the fact that Michael refers to a nationalist blogger as a representative of Irish nationalism shows a level of ignorance towards blogging in general.

    Bloggers don’t speak for anybody other than themselves – a blogger, or indeed a blog reader, who claims otherwise is delusional.

  • Dewi

    Excellent ! – An opportunity to repeat the thread on “Britain’s day” !!!

  • fair_deal

    “the whole idea is a New Labour gimmick in the light of the elections to the devolved institutions”

    So Unionists should ignore an idea with potential and that they should find inherently interesting because of the questionable motivations of some of its proponents?

  • Michael Shilliday

    I could just as easily have said that he is a blogging representative of humanity, which he is, but that isn’t relavent to the issue at hand. It depends on your defination of who is representative of what. It doesn’t take a mandate to be representative of an ideology, it just takes the courage to speak up. For which United Irelander deserves respect.

  • As British As Ballinasloe

    So Unionists should ignore an idea with potential and that they should find inherently interesting because of the questionable motivations of some of its proponents?

    Well why not, they’re happy enough to do it when it comes to the Irish Language. Besides Northern Ireland is not part of Britain so the proposal doesn’t concern you (unionists), though if you want to swap your 12th of July holiday to be more in tune with the motherland go ahead.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I didn’t say that now did I fair_deal? I have reservations about it being a good idea or not in the first place, but the motivations for it does not add to my already low confidence that the idea will turn out to be a success.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Michael

    “It depends on your defination of who is representative of what.”

    I don’t think UI would claim to be representative of anyone or anything. (Even his catchphrase – “Uniting Ireland against me” – demonstrates this.)

    In fact, it is YOU that has decided that he represents Irish nationalism, something he does not claim and which, I daresay, Irish nationalism would not claim, if there was a vote on the matter. You might argue that his opinions are in sync with wider nationalist opinion, but that’s quite another matter from suggesting that he represents anyone or anything other than himself.

  • It depends on your defination of who is representative of what. It doesn’t take a mandate to be representative of an ideology, it just takes the courage to speak up. For which United Irelander deserves respect.

    But United Irelander is only representative of his own ideology, no-one elses and certainly not the very vague terminology of Irish nationalist, which can mean a hundred things.

    United Irelander doesn’t speak for anybody else but himself so he doesn’t represent anything other than himself.

  • páid

    Well if the blog and some of comments here are evidence of Nationalist outreach, Unionists could be forgiven for yearning for the days of straightforward hostility.

    Saying ‘yah, boo, sucks, the mainland doesn’t want you’ is not only annoying and regressive, it ignores the fact that Unionists FEEL British.

    No amount of map-drawing will change that FACT.

  • fair_deal

    MS

    “I didn’t say that now did I fair_deal?”

    I didn’t say you did hence why I used a question mark. Although your clarification seems to be leaning more to ignoring it than doing something with it.

  • Michael Shilliday

    That is true, but that is because I’m not at all sure that it is a good idea. The British identity has never been one that exists in isolation, and Government trying to force together identities that have drifted away from the British unifying identity simply will not work, at least not in this way. It must be more organic than that.

  • Elvis parker

    The existence of six county ‘unionist’ parties in NI is surely anti British?
    In Scotland and Wales unionists are in Conservatives, Labour and Liberal parties – not in parties which are solely idenified with one section of the community

  • fair_deal

    “The British identity has never been one that exists in isolation”

    I can’t say I have heard any of the Labour contributions in this debate claim otherwise.

    “Government trying to force together identities”

    Government sponsorship/support is not the same as coercion. No one is forcing anyone.

    “drifted away from the British unifying identity”

    How else does a unitary state keep together other than through the promotion and maintenance of an over-arching unifying identity?
    If they have drifted away is not reasonable to be concerned about this, want to address it, recognise present approaches aren’t working and encourage new thinking?
    The last jubilee celebrations showed the power of and potential popularity of such an event.

    “at least not in this way”

    Hence engage with it to try and shape it not ignore it.

  • On the topic of what the idea of Britain day means in terms of that isle’s view towards NI i think that not only does the idea reflect an increasingly large disconnect between Whitehall and the North, but also the fact that people are showing such lack of interest underlines the waning sense of unity in the United Kingdom

  • Dewi

    “The last jubilee celebrations showed the power of and potential popularity of such an event.”

    …and that’s one of the things that really turns me off the “British Unifying Identity” just can’t stand the medieval pompous elitist nonsense of the stupid royalty…..but each to his own….

  • Dread Cthulhu

    MS: “I could just as easily have said that he is a blogging representative of humanity, ”

    You could, but you would have been wrong.

    He is, at best, an anecdote that might or might not be representative.

  • Lorraine

    hate to be pedantic on this but we are not recognised as British by the British. the union is between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British are legally constituted as British the Irish are legally constituted as Irish, within the United Kingdom. we can’t be British because we don’t live in the political and geographical area recognised as Great Britain.

    personally i don’t mind what way people term themselves these days but I always found it strange the Unionists have never challenged this clear definition of them as Irish.

  • sock puppet

    They’re Ulsterish.

    Sounds a bit like Ostirich.

  • curious

    [i]’First, to many across the UK, we already have a British Day, it’s Remembrance Sunday.'[/i]

    Remembrance sunday is not a British Day. It is international were all commonwealth (allies) remember those who died in wars in the 20 &21st century.

    ‘Remembrance Day (United Kingdom, Australia, Canada), also known as Poppy Day (South Africa and Malta), and Armistice Day (United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, and many other Commonwealth countries; and the original name of the holiday internationally) is a day to commemorate the sacrifice of veterans and civilians in World War I, World War II, and other wars’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_Day

  • Reader

    Lorraine: the British are legally constituted as British the Irish are legally constituted as Irish, within the United Kingdom. we can’t be British because we don’t live in the political and geographical area recognised as Great Britain.
    My passport says I’m ‘British’ – so when you say ‘legally constituted’ what law are you referring to? Geography pedants don’t make laws…

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Reader

    “My passport says I’m ‘British’”.

    Does it? Any time I’ve seen a British passport, it refers to “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. The inscription says: “Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.”

    Does it specifically say “British”? Where?

    “- so when you say ‘legally constituted’ what law are you referring to?”

    The Act of Union (1801), perhaps? (With the amendments of the Government of Ireland Act(s) (1921) (1998) taken into consideration. As in, the ones that name the state “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”?

    “Geography pedants don’t make laws…”

    Parliamentarians make laws, and they might just as well be geography pedants as anyone else.

  • curious wrote “ Remembrance sunday is not a British Day. It is international were all commonwealth (allies) remember those who died in wars in the 20 &21st century. “

    Commonwealth is not international but restricted to those colonized by and now linked to England. The day is seen as British only to the main participants of WW2. Those that brought about the end of the war ie. USA & Russia don’t mark the day in the same manner. For the other lead participant, Germany, the day “is unknown”.

    Therefore Remeb. Sunday is basically British only (also incl France).

    Reader, those in Gibaltar also hold British passports… does this make The Rock a part of Britian (altho hundred of miles away) or a British colony ?

  • curious

    ‘Therefore Remeb. Sunday is basically British only (also incl France).’

    Try and tell an Aussie, Kiwi or Canadian veteran that and see what happens.

    ‘Remembrance Day (United Kingdom, Australia, Canada), also known as Poppy Day (South Africa and Malta), and Armistice Day (United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, and many other Commonwealth countries; and the original name of the holiday internationally) is a day to commemorate the sacrifice of veterans and civilians in World War I, World War II, and other wars’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_Day

  • curious

    If remembrance day was considered Britians Day how come it was not mentioned here?

    [b]’In 2006, a survey by BBC History magazine suggested the anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta in 1215 would be the most popular day for a Britain Day.

    The 15 June date was favoured by 27% of the 5,002 people polled, ahead of VE Day (8 May) with 21%, and D-Day (6 June) with 14%’.[/b] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6721239.stm

  • “Try and tell an Aussie, Kiwi or Canadian veteran that and see what happens. ”

    I often do mention to Aussies and Kiwis that they basically are British or British colonialists as evidenced by their flags. Aus & NZ nationalism came about on the sands of Gallipoli but has been smothered since therefore loosing my respect for those nations / colonies.

    Isn’t the Queen of England more accepted in Australia than England? Wasn’t that proven by the percentages the last time they voted on the issue in Australia (about 13 years ago).

  • Douglas

    Passports say “British citizen” right beside the photograph …

    Personally, as someone who’s half-English, half-Scottish and lives in England at present, when I say ‘Britain’ I mean the UK on the basis that those NI residents who want to be are British citizens … I’d only treat ‘Great Britain’ as limited to England, Scotland and Wales.

    Having said all that, the last time I looked at the polls on British identity, they confirmed that a majority in all four countries of the UK had some (admittedly usually secondary in Scotland and Wales, though not England and Northern Ireland) sense of British identity and wanted to retain the Union. So this idea of Britishness withering on the vine is, I suspect, something of a piece of wishful thinking …

  • Billy in Aus

    Anonymous

    “Isn’t the Queen of England more accepted in Australia than England? Wasn’t that proven by the percentages the last time they voted on the issue in Australia (about 13 years ago).”

    The clear answer to that is NO and it wasn’t 13 years ago – it was 7.5 years ago.

    When the last referendum happened, there was a clear majority in the opinion polls in favour of a Republic. However, the Australian PM John Howard – an arch monarchist – out manoeuvered the Republicans.

    Most Aussies wanted a President elected by the people as in the US or Ireland. However, Howard put the referendum forward on the basis of the President being elected by Parliament (controlled at that time by his party). He knew that people would vote against a Republic where he could heavily influence the choice of President – possibly himself.

    So the Aussies decided it would be better to wait for a proper Republic than accept Howard’s twisted version of one. Hence, they voted against a Republic ON THIS OCCASION.

    I am now living in Aus and this issue is coming up again as part of the forthcoming General Election – where Howard is looking very likely to get kicked out.

    It tends to be older Aussies who support the Monarchy and the younger ones are, rightly, more proud to be Australian. The Royalists point out that opinion polls show support for a Republic down from a high of 45% in 1999 to about 40% now.

    However, support for the Monarchy is also down from 36% in 1999 to 34% now.

    There is still a considerable amount of residual respect for the present Queen. However, there is little or no respect for Charles, Ann or the younger Royals – hardly surprising.

    I truly believe (as do all the opinion polls) that a Labour govt will be elected in Aus later this year. They will probably hold off on a Republic refereNdum for a couple of years.

    However, I confidently predict that Australia will vote to become a Republic when the next referendum comes round.

  • Realist

    Billy Pilgrim,

    The United Kingdom Of Great Britain and Northern Ireland passport describes the nationality of the bearer as “British Citizen”.

  • Donnacha

    Curious, as someone who lives in NZ, I can tell you that Remembrance Day passes virtually unnoticed here, except by a few oldies in the Returned Servicemen’s Association clubs. Anzac Day is the big one here, celebrating getting NZ troops getting a shafting from British High Command.

  • Billy in Aus, thanks for your learned contrib and best of luck in a election for a republic.

    What’s the story with the flag… is that open to change as well? Donnacha, can you let us know about NZ regarding a republican election or is there any rumblings there about your flag.

    I’ll have to look into the exact date of the election I posted about. Was there an election about 13 years ago ? and I mistakenly assumed that this was the last elecation on the issue.

    Secondly, support for the Monarchy was at 34 – 36 in 1999 in Aus. The election I was referencing showed a similar (or higher) percentage back then. However my point is that the same monarchy didn’t generate that much support in Britain at the time.

  • Reader

    Billy Pilgrim: (Re British Passport) Does it?
    Yes. “British Citizen” as others have pointed out.
    Billy Pilgrim: As in, the ones that name the state “the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”?
    So does that mean we are United Kingdomish instead of British? The word “British”, like “Irish”, is an adjective. And guess what – there are tens or hundreds of thousands of Irish Citizens who have never set foot in Ireland.
    anonymous: does this make The Rock a part of Britian (altho hundred of miles away) or a British colony ?
    It’s an ‘Overseas Territory’ ( http://www.answers.com/topic/culture-of-gibraltar ) so they don’t elect MPs to the British Parliament like we do.

  • Cruimh

    is it just age or is the changing ethnic picture a factor ?

  • curious

    [i]Curious, as someone who lives in NZ, I can tell you that Remembrance Day passes virtually unnoticed here, except by a few oldies in the Returned Servicemen’s Association clubs. [/i]

    Anzac Day may be more popular, but remembrance day on 11 November still happens, and it is Kiwi veterans who parade. It is not a Britian’s Day, its a New Zealand day.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Reader

    “So does that mean we are United Kingdomish instead of British?”

    Well, yeah. I guess so. That seems to be the logic.

    “The word “British”, like “Irish”, is an adjective.”

    Yeah. “Irish” means “of Ireland”. “British” means “of Britain”. Draw your own conclusions. I know you will.

    “And guess what – there are tens or hundreds of thousands of Irish Citizens who have never set foot in Ireland.”

    So? Are you suggesting that British citizens in Northern Ireland are only British citizens in the same sense that an Irish American whose Granda came from Galway is an Irishman?

    As in, legally recognised but in truth, at a remove?

  • Reader

    Billy Pilgrim: As in, legally recognised but in truth, at a remove?
    Tick the boxes. Northern Ireland – Taxation(tick), Representation(tick), Subject to British law (tick). Irish Citizens in USA – Taxation (No), Representation (No), Subject to Irish law (No).

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Typically half-arsed, half-baked contribution from anonymous.

    ‘Commonwealth is not international but restricted to those colonized by and now linked to England.’
    Er, what is the Commonwealth if not international?

    ‘Therefore Remeb. Sunday is basically British only (also incl France).’
    Brilliant, so its basically British only, except that it includes France so basically, NOT British only.

    ‘I often do mention to Aussies and Kiwis that they basically are British or British colonialists as evidenced by their flags.’
    So the large numbers of Australians that are of Italian heritage, or Lebanese, or Chinese, or Vietnamese, who all number in the many many thousands are basically British or British colonialists? Just like at all those ‘Brits’ in the Socceroos World Cup squad – Schwarzer, Culina, Popovic, Skoko, Viduka, Lazaridis, Covic, Grella, Aloisi, Kalac, Sterjovski, Bresciano. Even Cahill has a Samoan mother.

    ‘Aus & NZ nationalism came about on the sands of Gallipoli but has been smothered since therefore loosing my respect for those nations / colonies’
    Have you ever actually been in Australia or New Zealand on Anzac Day, or down at Gallipoli on said day? Been at an Anzac Day dawn service? Been in Australia on Australia Day? Australians (to a much lesser extent New Zealanders) are amongst the most fervently proud, patriotic and nationalistic people in the Western world. Anything else would be un-Australian…

    ‘Isn’t the Queen of England more accepted in Australia than England? Wasn’t that proven by the percentages the last time they voted on the issue in Australia (about 13 years ago)’
    What a joke – anyhow Billy in Aus has put your ignorance right.

    As for the flag – Seinfeld got it right when touring Australia “I love your flag – Britain at night”.

  • Cap’n Bob

    I do not mind.

  • Yokel

    Bless You United Irelander, let me check my wallet…oh look pound sterling…

  • slug

    I don’t think that it has quite dawned on some people that the versatile term Britain is not the same as the geographic term Great Britain, and the former frequently (probably most commonly) used to mean pthe United Kingdom.

  • “Typically half-arsed, half-baked contribution from anonymous. “
    Ouch, I see you’re still smarting from the last time I made a twit out of you.

    “Er, what is the Commonwealth if not international? “

    Intl means open to all not just those violated by Britain and still too subservient to shake off the link. The world doesn’t revolve around London. An example of intl would be the UN or the olympics, an example the Commonwel would be Stormont or those pathetic Commonwelt games devise to give Brit medals they can’t win at real tournaments.

    “Brilliant, so its basically British only, except that it includes France so basically, NOT British only. “
    Genius, look up the word BASICALLY in the dictionary

    “…the large numbers of Australians that are of Italian heritage, or Lebanese, or Chinese, or Vietnamese, who all number in the many many thousands are basically British or British colonialists? “
    Exactamundo, you’re proving my point. The same answer is often given to me as an example of how the nationalists in Australia feel but are denied by Howard and others in Australian establishment who want to maintain the kow-towing link with Ol Blighty.

    No I was never at any memorial shite anywhere in the world for any dead soldiers who were urged to their deaths by political and monetary elite, why would I want to spend my time like that?

    “…. are amongst the most fervently proud, patriotic and nationalistic people in the Western world. Anything else would be un-Australian… “
    except their head of state is an ol’ German residing in London (half way around the world). While you’re at it get a globe… Western world !?!?…Australia is in the Orient not the Occident

    “What a joke – anyhow Billy in Aus has put your ignorance right. “
    34% in Australia while less than that in Britain? I think It’s you who can’t do the mathematics… ignorance my arse… check the mirror.

    “As for the flag – Seinfeld got it right when touring Australia “I love your flag – Britain at night”. “
    as in “ … youse are a bunch of Brits”. Again you prove my point… and also dared to call me ignorant… right back attacha.

  • páid

    Slug,

    if I read you correctly then Great Britain is smaller than Britain.

    In Irish, Wales is Breatain Bheag, which means Little Britain.

    So in order of size…Britain, Great Britain, Little Britain.

    Now put in order, Northern Ireland, the North of Ireland and Ulster.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Perhaps its you who should get a dictionary. ‘international’ doesn’t mean ‘open to all’ except in the anonymous pidgin dictionary.

    From the OED
    ‘existing, involving, or carried on between two or nations’

    I gather that the OED may be a little too ‘British’ for your liking so from the American Heritage Dictionary on dictionary.com

    international
    Of, relating to, or involving two or more nations: an international commission; international affairs.
    Extending across or transcending national boundaries: international fame.

    The Commonwealth of Nations, with 53 independant states, is an international organisation whichever way you look at it, except of course your way which is always pretty skewed.

    Yep – also looked up ‘BASICALLY’ in the dictionary – ‘fundamentally, essentially’ – I’m sure the French will agree with you that ‘Remembrance Day (also incl France)’ aka Armistice Day, a national holiday in France, is fundamentally, essentially British, as will the Belgians for whom it is also a public holiday.

    ‘Exactamundo, you’re proving my point.’
    What point? You do not have a point, you have no coherent argument at all. You state that Aussies and Kiwis ‘basically are British or British colonialists’. Australia today is a multi-cultural country, it is not a colonial outpost of Britain. Many Australians have absolutely no link with the UK at all. Yes, many are descended from Anglo-Irish but here’s some news for you – the White Australia Policy was ended over 30 years ago, Australians don’t automatically get British passports anymore, the Brits cannot rock up to Australia for 10 quid, demand a plot of land and citizenship, the cultural cringe has ended, God Save The Queen is not the Australian national anthem any more and few if any Australians have an inferiority complex to the Brits. In fact, with the golden beaches, fantastic climate, sporting success, economic success to name but a few, it is quite the opposite. As for the ‘kow-towing link’, puh-leeze – there will always be a link between Australia and England, history cannot be denied but few Australians in the 21st century view it as anything other than a relationship of equals. Far from kow-towing to their head of state, less-and-less Australians have even a modicum of respect for the concept of a monarch as head of Australia.

    ‘No I was never at any memorial shite anywhere in the world for any dead soldiers who were urged to their deaths by political and monetary elite, why would I want to spend my time like that?
    Well, you know fuck all about Australian nationalism when you say that it has been ‘smothered since Gallipoli’ and you fail miserably to understand the Australian psyche with your contemptuous comments about arguably the most important day for Australian nationalists.

    What a joke – anyhow Billy in Aus has put your ignorance right. “
    34% in Australia while less than that in Britain? I think It’s you who can’t do the mathematics… ignorance my arse… check the mirror.
    Your ignorance is in the following statement – ‘Isn’t the Queen of England more accepted in Australia than England? Wasn’t that proven by the percentages the last time they voted on the issue in Australia (about 13 years ago)’ as Billy has pointed out, it wasn’t 13 years ago. Also, if the monarchy is more accepted in Australia than Britain, then how come Australia are holding referendums to get rid of it and Britain aren’t, how come the Queen, as head of state, didn’t open the Sydney Olympics?

    ‘While you’re at it get a globe… Western world !?!?…Australia is in the Orient not the Occident’
    Oh dear, oh dear – the ‘Western World’ isn’t strictly defined as a geographical term, except in the the anonymous pidgin atlas.
    From Wikipedia… ‘The exact scope of the Western World is somewhat subjective in nature, depending on whether cultural, economic or political criteria are used. In general however these definitions always include the following countries: the countries of Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.’

    Your view of Australia, its relationship with Britain, and Australians own sense of identity is completely mired in the past and is out-of-touch with the reality of modern 21st century Australia. Perhaps you should get out of your own mono-cultural (actual and mental) ghetto and check it out, if they’ll have you.

  • hotdogx

    Now guys a question for all you british passport holders! what is the difference between sombody having british citizen or british national marked on it,
    could a unionist please have a go at explaining this element of britishness to us?

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Anon
    ‘34% in Australia while less than that in Britain? I think It’s you who can’t do the mathematics… ignorance my arse… check the mirror.’

    Well, if you gave me something worthwhile to do the mathematics on maybe I would. 34% in Australia compared to….. compared to what exactly? You don’t supply any percentages for the UK just a vague ‘the same monarchy didn’t generate that much support in Britain at the time’ or ‘less than that in Britain’.

    This type of quantitative analysis would be laughed out of a GCSE politics exam. Come on, give me something actual to compare and I’ll let you into a little secret that only I and 20 million Australians know – the state of ‘Republicanism’ and ‘Monarchism’ in Australia today compared to Britain.

  • TWGM:

    “Well, you know fuck all about Australian nationalism when you say that it has been ‘smothered since Gallipoli’ …“

    Constitutional ties betw Britain and Aus only severed in 1986 (Australia Act 1986) – that’s 71 years after Gallipoli and 85 years after Federation. Therefore smothered. Note the absence of foul language in my postings

    “…you fail miserably to understand the Australian psyche with your contemptuous comments about arguably the most important day for Australian nationalists.”

    Methinks you are mixing your Memorial Day (11Nov) with your ANZAC day (25April)

    Below are just four issues I have w the Aus govn (which could also be addressed to NZers and Canadians)…
    1. British flag incorporated into the Australian flag
    2. Queen of England as the titular head of Govrn and appointing Gov General to hold J. Howard’s hand as he goes about his biz.
    3. Australia national anthem determined by Gov General ‘proclaimation’ in 1984 to be GSTQ as royal anthem in the presence of Betty & Family otherwise Advance Australia Fair.
    4. WW1 commerations held in Aus for those thrown to their deaths by Westminster for no good reason (other than imperial powerplays) in coordination with the British gov representing those to blame for mass killings of ‘their own’ soldiers.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Anon
    The Australia Act was over two decades ago. Australia and Australians have moved on, although possibly you haven’t. Seriously, when was the last time that you spent any time in Australia? I ask because the picture of Australia that you paint and your reference points are relics of the past, out of touch with modern Australia. With this talk of Britain’s influence and the power of the Queen it would appear that the inferiority complex and colonial mindset is somewhat closer to home, than with Australians who in the 21st century look increasingly towards the US and Asia for political, economic and cultural ties rather than the ‘Old Country’.

    ‘Methinks you are mixing your Memorial Day (11Nov) with your ANZAC day (25April)’
    Not at all. First of all, as far as I’m aware, it’s not Memorial Day in Oz, its Remembrance Day. Secondly, although 11th Nov is a day of remembrance, its not THE day when Australians remember their war dead – that is Anzac Day. Anzac Day is the most spiritual, nationalistic day in the Aussie calendar. There are many more commemorations on Anzac Day than Remembrance Day and it has much greater cultural significance e.g. the traditional Aussie Rules ANZAC match (biggest game in the AFL outside the Grand Final), the Australia-NZ ANZAC rugby league test match. I mentioned Anzac Day originally as a prime example of overt Australian nationalism.

    As for your issues with the Australian government, they are largely irrelevant to this discussion but anyhow…
    Points 1 and 2 largely relate to Australia’s constitutional question. Constitutional change in Australia operates at a glacial change – this isn’t because Aussies ‘kow-tow’ to the UK but precisely because the UK link is of less-and-less importance that there isn’t a mad rush to end the last vestiges of monarchical influence. Both the questions of the flag and the head of state will be up for discussion when John Howard is gone (which will be sooner rather than later). The opposition Labour party have Australia becoming a Republic as a matter of party policy, while the present incumbents of power, the Liberals, will soon be led by ardent-Republican Peter Costello. The question is not if Australia becomes a Republic, or even when Australia becomes a Republic (as it may still be some time away), its what kind of Republic Australia will become. This is what scuppered the last referendum vote.

    As for the anthem, the Australian national Anthem is Advance Australia Fair, period – there is no ‘otherwise’. GSTQ is merely the Royal anthem and it is simply a matter of protocol that it is played for the Queen. GSTQ is not played instead of AAF; it is normally played alongside it. The proclamation by the G-G was largely symbolic, right up there with other G-G proclamations such as green and gold being the national colours and national Wattle Day being 1st September. AAF was actually chosen by the Australian people in a national poll (which at least makes it more democratic than either the British or Irish anthems) and it was the government who decided to instate it. In that poll incidentally (3 decades ago) GSTQ received less than one-fifth of the vote. So, you can put this issue to bed.

    With regards to your final point – I read it and fail to understand what your issue is, unless you are unaware of how Australians commemorate WW1. In Australia, more than any other country I have experienced, they recognise the futility of WW1 and the folly of their men fighting a foreign war in far-flung lands. Gallipoli is seen as a disaster, it is not celebrated. There is absolutely no love lost for Britain when it comes to Gallipoli, ask any Australian for their opinion on Churchill. None of the ‘diggers’ were conscripted, they were volunteers and Australians revere their war dead, doing so on their own terms, not dictated to by the British or anyone.

    ‘Note the absence of foul language in my postings’
    I also not the lack of any hard evidence to back up your claim that the Queen ‘more accepted in Australia than England’.

  • Bill

    Memorial day is April 25.
    Remeberance day is November 11.

  • “The Australia Act was over two decades ago. “

    exactly, only two decades ago.

    “Seriously, when was the last time that you spent any time in Australia? “

    Never; and your point is ? You comment on Slugger O Toole – Notes on Northern Ireland politics and culture, from England/Scot/Wales? you never told me the last time. Is location a determining factor of making a point / having an opinion?

    “‘Methinks you are mixing your Memorial Day (11Nov) with your ANZAC day (25April)’
    Not at all. First of all, as far as I’m aware, it’s not Memorial Day in Oz, its Remembrance Day.”

    Naming error on my side… I mixed the name up with the USA’s version (Memorial Day in May, Veterns in Nov)

    “… its not THE day when Australians remember their war dead – that is Anzac Day. Anzac Day is the most spiritual, nationalistic day in the Aussie calendar. “
    Agree, the British element take to the Rememberance Day, Aussies to the ANZAC Day

    “…this isn’t because Aussies ‘kow-tow’ to the UK…the questions of the flag and the head of state will be up for discussion when John Howard is gone … “
    it is to me… the Queen as figure head of govern means abdication of nationality or national balls / testicles (a la Australia, NZ & Canada). My belief in this is supported with the evidence of the actual figure of power (Howard) being an ardent monarchist (a la John Burton). When Ireland had Burton in power were we represented by a kow towing monarchist … yes we were. Altho we are a republic there are many, many who are west brits / monarchists … Bruton, CCOB, Kevin Meyers, Fintan OToole, PDs & many in FG in the mode of John Howard.

    “…its what kind of Republic Australia will become. This is what scuppered the last referendum vote. “
    Who determines the President seemed to have lost the elect on the Republic… ie should he/she be a political appointee (the first would prob have been the Gov Gen) or voted on by plebiside.

    As for the anthem… there is no ‘otherwise’.GSTQ is merely the Royal anthem and it is simply a matter of protocol that it is played for the Queen. “

    EEeerrr, tell that to the Gov Gen who’s “… ‘proclaimation’ in 1984 to be GSTQ as royal anthem in the presence of Betty & Family otherwise Advance Australia Fair.”
    Note the protocol of GSTQ coming first and the use of ‘otherwise’ for the voted on AAF.

    “The proclamation by the G-G was largely symbolic…”

    for symbolism I liked the French Republican kind when they chopped the Royalists heads off! Better symbolism would have been an adherence to the publics opinion from 21 May 1977, where other songs got a look in… GSTQ did come in third at 18.78% behind AAF on 43.29% and Waltzing Matilda on 28.28% but I guess the Gov Gen didn’t think it would be comfortable for Betty Saxe Coburg to be listening to a song about a digger who got his legs blown off for the sake of her relatives inter-family bickering.

    “…which at least makes it more democratic than either the British or Irish anthems…”

    Irish anthem decided by electorate in 1937 on the Bunreacht na hEireann (56.5% versus 43.5%) in Article 7.

    “There is absolutely no love lost for Britain when it comes to Gallipoli, ask any Australian for their opinion on Churchill. “
    he’s known as the Butcher of Gallipolli which I think is a rather fitting description to add to his handles for the deaths of student sailors off Jutland and the murderous behaviour of his Black & Tans in Irel, to say nothing about his desire to gas Iraqi civilians. He’s a special place in the memory of a lot from NI for his description of Ferm & Tyrone and their “dreary steeples”.

    “… None of the ‘diggers’ were conscripted, they were volunteers and Australians revere their war dead, doing so on their own terms, not dictated to by the British or anyone. “

    I never said they were forced thro conscription… but that doesn’t mean they weren’t duped by DUTY TO COUNTRY, KITCHENER NEEDS YOU and such complete and total rubbish. I never said the terms of the memorials were dictated but inclusive of official British reps… therefore those same official reps from back in those murderous days.

    “ I also not the lack of any hard evidence to back up your claim that the Queen ‘more accepted in Australia than England’. “

    It’s coming… I’m just busy in the office… BTW I’m still waiting since Nov 17th 2006 for that address from you …!??!

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Not having visited somewhere doesn’t preclude someone from having an opinion on that place, no matter how misguided. However, a little local knowledge goes a long way and in your case the lack of it helps explain your ill-informed, incorrect and outdated views and comments regarding Australian nationalism, Australian views on the monarchy, Australian commemoration of WW1, Anzac Day etc etc.

    As for being too busy to back up your comment on the Queen being more accepted in Oz than England – LOL – too busy to provide evidence for your comment but not busy enough to stop you posting 5 more entries on this thread alone. This one could run and run so I’ll check in from time-to-time to see what if you’ve come up with. By the way, unlike the rest of your entries on this thread try and keep it contemporary – you know, sometime in the last decade or so would be handy.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    ‘BTW I’m still waiting since Nov 17th 2006 for that address from you’

    I take it you are talking about the ‘The Nation Remembers’ thread? That’ll be the thread where you started off questioning the non-sectarian nature of the British Legion and claiming it was ‘Protestant based’ and ‘Protestant only’. Over the course of the next 100 posts you failed to provide any evidence to back up your claims (a bit like this thread and your Queen more accepted in Australia viewpoint). Instead your claims were refuted with much evidence and reason by multiple contributors. The discussion had quite clearly ran its course. Although I see by the end you were commenting by yourself – at least by then you had the captive audience your contribution deserved.

    Regarding your question posed on 17th November, well I answered that in the second paragraph of post 22 on the 18th November. You may not agree but asking your question again multiple times like a 5-year old isn’t going to change it.

    As for who was made to look a twit, well looking back at the thread everyone else got bored of the facile task of rebutting your argument, you were accused of trolling on at least two occasions and you got your arse kicked on the side discussion on the Belgrano. Way to go Anon, keep up the good work.

  • “Not having visited somewhere doesn’t preclude someone from having an opinion on that place, no matter how misguided. However, a little local knowledge goes a long way “

    so being based in Engerland allows you to comment on NI although I can’t comment on Australia because I haven’t been there. One rule for you and another one for me… that seems fair enough … IN YOUR TYPICALLY 1950s UNIONIST PERCEPTION OF EQUALITY

    For Britain as of Aug 2000… http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/895261.stm “The MORI poll for The Times newspaper found satisfaction with the monarchy had risen from 41% in 1995 to 51% today….”

    While in Australia as of 1999 (close in dates) “With 80% of the votes counted, 54.22% of the electorate have opted against breaking ties with the British monarchy…” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/508474.stm

    It is surprisingly difficult to find percentages about the publics opinions on the royality… I wonder why? to curtail debate on their inconsequence ?

    “…Regarding your question posed on 17th November, well I answered that in the second paragraph of post 22 on the 18th November…”

    No you did not …I asked for a list of RBL ceremonies in non Protestant houses of worship in NI and you come back with a list of non Protestant people who a attended RBL function in England.
    I asked for a LIST OF NON PROTESTANT RBL OCCASSIONS IN NI… IN NORTH OF IRELAND… IE. IN SUCH-N-SUCH CATHOLIC CHURCH, BALLYSOMEWHERE, CO. ONE-OF-SIX, NI.
    shouldn’t be too hard if the RBL is such a cross religious organization especially regarding NI as inter faith should be such an important issue for a organization in the Sick Cos. We’re not talking England here, we’re talking about the Six Counties which have been proven NOT to be ‘as British as Finchley’.
    Posted by anonymous on Nov 17, 2006 @ 11:03 PM

    http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/the-nation-remembers/P175/

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    ‘so being based in Engerland allows you to comment on NI although I can’t comment on Australia because I haven’t been there. One rule for you and another one for me… that seems fair enough … IN YOUR TYPICALLY 1950s UNIONIST PERCEPTION OF EQUALITY’

    What part of the following didn’t you understand?
    ‘Not having visited somewhere doesn’t preclude someone from having an opinion on that place, no matter how misguided’
    Maybe one too many double-negatives in there for you, so I’ll make it as simple as possible. You can still comment on somewhere you haven’t been. The reason I asked when you’d last been to Australia is because the picture you painted of the place was markedly different to my impression of the country, and I was curious as to whether this was first-hand experience, and if so what that experience had been. Now that its clear that your opinion of Australia is based on Alf Stewart, Shane Warne and Google I’ll lower my expectations accordingly.

    As for your assumption that I’m based in England, well, you are wrong pal. I’ve lived in England as a kid and as an adult, but I’m from Northern Ireland and that’s where I’m based. As it happens my job means that I spend a lot of time in, yes you guessed it, Australasia, which comes as a relief to my Antipodean wife, who for some reason prefers Sydney summers to Belfast winters. Even if I was based in England, in terms of an informed opinion, only an idiot would argue that coming from Northern Ireland, living a few hundred miles away and visiting it regularly would be the same as not coming from Australia, never having been there and having spent their entire life thousands of miles away on the other side of the planet.

    ‘One rule for you and another one for me’
    Pathetic MOPE-ish bullshit.

    As for not answering your question on the Nation Remembers thread, in post 22 on 18th November what part of ‘As for the RBL’s role in the Province, I’ve no idea if there are any Catholic churches involved in Remembrance Day services’ don’t you understand?

    I’ll answer your less than convincing ‘evidence’ on Australia’s acceptance of the Queen later…

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Thanks for making the effort to find some internat links..

    From the BBC link it states that 51% are satisfied with the monarchy in the UK. However, another statistic in that link was ‘20% dissatisfied with the constitutional role of the monarchy’.

    Yes, in the 1999 referendum, 55% of the electorate opted against breaking ties with the British monarchy but around 40% voted Yes, to replace the Queen as head of state. When you consider that the Republic options made available by John Howard were so deeply unpopular, yet still 40% were dissatisfied enough with the constitutional role of the monarchy to vote for anything other than the status quo. 40% in Australia against 20% in the UK. Also, do not believe for one moment that every single one of the 55% of the electorate were in favour of retaining the Queen as head of state. The alternatives put forward by Howard were so unpalatable to many Australians that the ‘No’ was a protest vote rather than a vote for the Queen. In the vernacular of Australians, the electorate were rorted by Howard.

    There is plenty of other evidence of declining support for the monarchy in Australia, especially when compared to Britain. The centre-right equivalent of the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party may be led by monarchist Howard but he is soon to be replaced by Peter Costello – an ardent Republican. Can you imagine David Cameron coming out with similar rhetoric ‘We are not comfortable with Monarchy as the symbol of our nation. The notion has run out of believability. We have lost the faith. And I don’t see any great campaign to get it back… I think most Australians consciously or unconsciously take a Republican view. And so do I… on the big issue I am for a Republic’ (http://www.republic.org.au/ARM-2001/speeches&articles/spa_costello2.htm). Another member of the cabinet – Malcolm Turnbull – was leader of the Australian Republican Movement. How many members of the Conservative shadow-cabinet are prominent Republicans?

    The Australian Labor Party – cousins of New Labour in the UK – have becoming a Republic and getting rid of the Queen as a matter of party policy – http://www.republic.org.au/ARM-2001/speeches&articles/archives/2004/spa_nicola_roxon_200704.htm. The UK version, for all their historic left-wing pretentions are not Republicans as a party.

    Really, a key difference between the UK and Australia is that even though apathy towards the monarchy is probably at an all-time high in Britain, there is no real discussion on getting rid of them, no major political movement. Compare that to Australia, where the constitutional question although not the be-all or end-all, does bubble away in the background. Support for a Republic is non-partisan and is not affiliated to any one political party.

    What you have said is not 100% incorrect. There are still strong ties between Australia and the UK. There is still strong support and respect for the Queen from the older ‘Anglo’ crowd, and a January 2007 Newspoll survey showed that while 45% of Australians favour or partly favour Australia becoming a republic, and 19% uncommitted, 36% were opposed. So one-third are against a Republic – yet interest and support for the monarchy is virtually non-existent in those of Irish-Catholic heritage or the burgeoning population of non-Anglo immigrants and their families. Last week Australians had a public holiday – the Queen’s Birthday, a day on which honours were bestowed by the government. However, no-one actually thinks about the Queen much on this day.

    When the Queen came to Australia in 1954 hundreds of thousands met her with ‘the most profound and passionate feelings of loyalty and devotion’ (Robert Menzies PM), when she came a couple of years ago she was met with profound indifference.