Power offers long (ish) odds on United Ireland…

Can’t see this market shipping too much money for Paddy Power, but fair play to them for offering it… For the optimistic nationalists amongst us, you can push the boat out for 2012 at 25/1 (maybe lib2016, reckons 2017 is a bargin at 20/1)… The shortest odds come in at 10/1 for 2027… and probably constitutes the ‘safest’ bet, but there are probably more profitable ways of tying your money up for twenty years… Evens looks to be a long way off… Thanks to Parci, for the heads up!

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Thanks to Parci, for the heads up!< >he shortest odds come in at 10/1 for 2027… and probably constitutes the ‘safest’ bet<

  • Yokel

    Ok so a less than 10% chance of it happening by 2027?

    Christ, that says it all.

  • interested

    Shame its not on betfair.

    I’d lay odds there at much better than 10/1 and be very happy to take anyone’s money (eventually).

  • Yokel

    And there ladies and gents we have the intractable issue summed up in the space of the first two posts….

  • lib2016

    Never trust the bookies – the references to one parliament on this island and to Britain having no claim here are the getout clauses.

    We are after all talking about a Ruritanian nation which only discovered that it didn`t control the South a few years ago when they abolished the 1920 Act at least 70 years after De Valera made it nonsense. A country which still has ongoing scandals about a system of honours based on a defunct Empire.

    In fact we´re already well down the road towards Irish unity with the DUP settling for a devolved parliament at Stormont as their consolation prise for the end of the union and Sinn Fein accepting the same as the price of Irish freedom.

  • interested

    It would seem that late in the day lib2016 has stolen the “person to be pitied” prize for Monday.

  • abucs

    If you assume that you can get 8.5% per year on your money, your 1 pound would grow to over 5 pounds by 2027.

    So the real odds you’d be getting for a UI by that date are less than 2-1 ! (That’s if you can find Paddy in 2027) :o)

    Hint : Paddy might be the one living in the big house in South Dublin not caring what happens.

  • Ahem

    C’mon Interested, sure don’t know you that the wee fella from Sandy Row lodge who writes as Lib2016 is Ulster’s answer to Craig Brown? It’s hard to crack the recipe for pitch-perfect one-note monomaniacal paranoia and hysterical fantasy, but by gum, he has.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Will they take northern bank notes?

  • lib2016

    Ahern,

    Fifty years ago believers in a flat earth were taken as examples of craziness in action but some things improve with time and now we´ve reached the stage where a majority of Americans believe in creationism.

    Here in Northern Ireland we have similar people who believe that one office in Holywood will replace 40,000 troops. Mad Maggie with her rants about ´Belfast is as British as Finchley´ lived long long ago and far far away. She´s not coming back.

    Face it – the Democrats will be back in two years, the army has gone for all practical purposes bar a few ordinance people and formfillers, and traditional unionism has collapsed.

    The games nearly over.

  • The Third Policeman

    While I’m not entirely as optimistic as Lib concerning the road we’re on he’s right about this being a very sneaky bet. Powersharing in the north means that post unity there will probably be some form of local assesmbly for what used to be NI for quite some time. Also if the north remained in the commonwealth would that mean you’ve lost on the second part of the bet? Or what if northern TDs retained speaking rights at West Minster? Unionism should not be expected to give up these measures in a United Ireland and so you’re not likely to win the bet!

  • ACT

    The truly Swiftian stroke there by the genius of Schomberg Drive (c’mon Bobby boy! admit it’s you – we’ve rumbled ya!) was of course that tiny little detail in the rant where he faux-accidentally addressed me as ‘Ahern’. Thereby bringing into view a whole suggested world of resentful bitterness against the corrupt partitionist sell-outs in the Free State. Such economy of style! Tip top stuff today – more! more!

  • flaminglip

    “Ok so a less than 10% chance of it happening by 2027?

    Christ, that says it all.”

    Yes, it’s official, in 2027 a number will be picked between 1 and 10, and if it isn’t the correct number there will be no United Ireland. That’s the way it works.

  • confused

    flaminglip

    And if the correct number is picked there still will not be a UI because the majority of people in NI don’t like that number.
    This will be a challenge to mathematicians to invent a number between 0 and 10 which does not already exist and which might express the wishes of the Majority.
    Things are a bit more complicated than you think.

  • páid

    I gave 5 to 1 against City beating United on Sunday. 🙁

    If political developments go the same way as the match at Wastelands, we could all end up as a colony of Papua New Guinea.

  • CTN

    Barkin McGuinness claimed at the SF Ard Fheis in ’97 “they would consider transitional arrangements”- looks like he’s in for a lot of transition.

    The nationalist birth rate has flatlined and with catholic unionists making up a fair percentage of stoop voters- a combined catholic and protestant pro-union majority will survive for 2 generations yet

    Who needs the paras when unionists can have the 39th infantry Irish Brigade with the PSNI on top of who they want on call in the UK…

  • interested

    lib
    I do have to hand it to ya – either a brilliant comedian or a disturbed mind.

    The new MI5 HQ is nothing to do with replacing troops – troops which were only here on a temporary basis whilst they dealt with those nasty republicans – job done. The presence of extra troops in Northern Ireland was not underpinning the Union, in fact it was marking out NI as a place apart from other areas of the UK.

    Now we have the normal compliment of troops here, just as it was pre-troubles, when NI was within the UK, just as it still is.

    The fact that we also have a shiny new MI5 base about to open is simply an added extra.

    But then of course, Sinn Fein have accepted a devolved British Assembly, where unionists have a veto over decisions on all internal and North-South decisions as the “price for freedom”. And no doubt Francie was playing his part for that ‘freedom’ too!

    If traditional unionism has ‘collapsed’ then I’m not sure how I could describe the state of ‘traditional republicanism’. What exactly was the ‘war’ all for then?

    BTW – we havent “reached” the stage where a majority of Americans believe in creationism. A majority always have. Only recently has there been any comment about it. (I say that not as any comment pro or anti creationism, but simply to correct your error).

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    BTW – we havent “reached” the stage where a majority of Americans believe in creationism.

    The poor lost souls.

    Creationism = Cretinism.

  • Mick Fealty

    Paid,

    If only I had known….

    “I gave 5 to 1 against City beating United on Sunday.”

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Ask Paddy power to index link a bet at 10-1 & see what they’ll say.

    Because the 10-1 isn’t really 10-1 on a bet like this. PP hold the money for 20 years. 100 at 2007 will be worth what in 2027? 250, 300? – whatever the long term inflation rate is.

    Say it’s 250 then the bet is 250 against 1000 i.e 4/1.

  • Outsider

    It depends how united you want the island of Northern and the Republic of Ireland, e.g. some in Sinn Fein have given up the hope of securing all counties in NI and are trying to bring counties such as Londonderry and Fermanagh which have overwhelming Nationalist majoritys into the Republic this therefore would leave NI only a four county state although there would still be no UI.

  • slug

    Anyone claiming to know what things will look like in 20 years time is rather brave.

  • lib2016

    ´Traditional republicanism´has been replaced by a more modern version which is ready and willing to compromise and to reassure unionists, especially unionists from more modest backgrounds, that they have nothing to fear and much to gain in any foreseeable UI.

    The UUP attempted to stay in touch with British politics and destroyed themselves, torn apart by the realisation that England and Ireland are two separate nations. The DUP realised that they represent an Irish-based community with its own particular needs which needed addressing on their own terms rather than those of another nation.

    The British will do what their senior partner tells them to. They will be leaving, in fact they´ve largely left now that the Army is away and the Assembly is up and running.

  • smcgiff

    The plan is progressing nicely *strokes head of cat*.

    In tomorrow’s Sun there will be a free £20 coupon to be used on Paddy Power’s United Ireland bet.

    Queue mad rush to the bookies… and a United Ireland for a snip!

  • Juan (Wang) Kerr

    Maybe Paddy Power ain’t the smartest bookies on the block. One of the games they had listed on their European Football weekend coupon last friday (which I had selected as one of my accumulators, incidentally) was Real Madrid v Athletico Madrid.

    I lost the bet anyway, but as I subsequently found out, the Spanish League doesn’t even kick off until…NEXT F*CKING SUNDAY, YOU IDIOTS!

  • Outsider

    ´Traditional republicanism´has been replaced by a more modern version which is ready and willing to compromise and to reassure unionists, especially unionists from more modest backgrounds, that they have nothing to fear and much to gain in any foreseeable UI.

    Is that why they are so intent on changing the name of Londonderry to ‘derry’, orgainising parmailitary so called ‘truth parades’ yet forgetting the innocent victims of Tebane and Enniskillen etc. Forcing the establishment of a mural at the maze to commerate dead ira terrorists etc etc, yea I agree Unionists have nothing to fear in a UI as long as we do what the Sinn Fein/ira mobs tell us.

  • interested

    Lib
    If the British have all left then they forgot to tell me, my family and quite a few of my friends. Add to that about a million or so others knocking around Northern Ireland, because we’re still here.

    ‘New’ republicanism obviously very visionary. They’re the only people who can envision working a British devolved Assembly as a step towards a United Ireland. I’ll bet when Conor Murphy sends off legislation for assent from Her Majesty the Queen he sees it as such a great stride forward for Ireland.

    Maybe rather than telling all us misguided Prods how well off we’d be in a United Ireland do you ever imagine that it might actually be showing some republicans that life with the Brits isn’t so bad after all. I mean, if Marty and Gerry can support the Police and work in a British system it really cant be that bad after all.

  • lib2016

    I suppose things in the Raj looked fairly good at the durbar in 1936. Not quite so good ten years later, though.

    The ´Úlster people´ are as British as any other overseas British, just like the Hong Kong Chinese or the Ugandan Asians. Their European citizenship means that they don´t have any longterm worries but as some have already found they won´t get so much as a council house in Britain if the real Brits don´t want you.

    Convinced unionists won´t be very content but that´s what happens when you´re on the wrong side of history. It´s the next generation which counts and even on this board one can see a distinct lowering of tension.

    The South is a pleasant prosperous republic from which we have much to learn. No sane person wants to invade Iraq and be hated around the world when they can be part of a neutral prosperous republic.

    When the artificial fear ends, and the war was over a decade ago, then things will sort themselves out very quickly.

  • Reader

    lib2016: The ´Úlster people´ are as British as any other overseas British, just like the Hong Kong Chinese
    Remind me – how many MPs did Hong Kong send to Westminster?

  • The Third Policeman

    I don’t want to start a row on whether or not the assembly is a positive step for republicanism but how exactly is it a ‘British assembly’? Surely its a Northern Irish assembly or even a UK assembly. After all we are in the UK of GB and Northern Ireland which obviously means that our assembly is as British as the Scottish assembly is Northern Irish?

  • Rhody

    Ahern,

    Fifty years ago believers in a flat earth were taken as examples of craziness in action but some things improve with time and now we´ve reached the stage where a majority of Americans believe in creationism.

    Most americans do not beleive in creationism

  • Cahal

    Reader: “Remind me – how many MPs did Hong Kong send to Westminster”

    Three questions:

    1. If there is a UI tomorrow, will you stop being British because you no longer get to ‘send MPs to Westminster’?

    2. Does that make da nort 60% British because the SF MPs dont go to Westminster?

    3. Are people from the Isle of Man & Channel Islands & Falklands not British? (Dear god how the mighty empire has fallen).

  • Billy

    Interested

    “Add to that about a million or so others knocking around Northern Ireland”

    God Almighty! – are you still trying to peddle this 1 million Unionists crap? Unionists may like to delude themselves that this is true but no-one else is fooled by it.

    Figures realised in 1978 or 79 (nearly 30 years ago) showed about 870k Unionists and that figure will certainly have gone down since.

    Please don’t quote that “25% of Catholics are Unionists” crap either – that figure was based on a very very small opinion poll which can hardly be classed as representative. I would describe myself as a middle-class Catholic and most of my family/friends the same. I have extensive family/business/social connections within my community and I can honestly say that I don’t know any Catholic Unionists (although there may be a few who vote Alliance or give them a second preference).

    I am not disputing that there would be a majority in favour of the Union if there was a border poll
    tomorrow. However, I don’t think the majority would be anywhere near as high as Unionist propaganda would have us believe.

    I would certainly bet money that:

    There wouldn’t be anywhere near 1 million Unionist votes (quite logical as there aren’t anywhere near 1 million Unionists).

    The pro-Union vote among the Catholic population wouldn’t be anywhere near 25%.

    If Unionism believes it’s majority to be so secure, why are both the UUP + DUP so afraid of a border poll?

    Unionists aren’t stupid – you must be aware that the vast majority of the UK electorate don’t give a shit about NI. They don’t understand it, don’t care and wouldn’t be bothered if Britain pulled out.

    I believe that a border poll which showed that the majority in favour of the Union wasn’t very big (and diminishing) would give the UK govt the excuse it wants to accelerate it’s disengagement with NI.

    I believe this is the reason that Unionists are so afraid of a Border Poll (which Sinn Fein have called for).

    I can see no other reason for Unionists to go on about the mythical 1 million Unionists or 25% of Catholics being Unionists – yet be afraid of a vote which would either substantiate or disprove their claims.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Billy — exactly when did SF call for a border poll? Being the perpetual whingers that they are, if SF thought there would be the slightest advantage in holding one, they’d be marching down Royal Avenue banging bin lids as we speak.

    As regards Unionism being ‘afraid’ of a border poll, I distinctly recall tremblin’ Trimble calling for one just a few years ago, and I for one would be delighted to see it happen. I’d even have a wee flutter on the pro UI vote coming in somewhere around 35%.

    But hey we could haggle figures all day — let’s just get on and do it.

    ‘Unionists aren’t stupid – you must be aware that the vast majority of the UK electorate don’t give a shit about NI. They don’t understand it, don’t care and wouldn’t be bothered if Britain pulled out.’

    Agreed Billy, and it’s been that way since 1921. You could equally state that the vast majority of the ROI electorate don’t give a shit about NI either. Given SFs recent derisory vote and the rumpus about Shannon/Belfast, NI is most definitely a foreign country to them. Sure the main ROI parties all pay lip service to a UI, but that’s as far as it goes.

    Someday in the dim and distant future, NI may vote itself into a UI, but I certainly don’t expect my kids to see it.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    ”Given SFs recent derisory vote and the rumpus about Shannon/Belfast, NI is most definitely a foreign country to them.”

    No it’s not, as you may believe. SF’s paltry effort in the recent southern elections was down to their poor grasp of Celtic Tiger economics. People weren’t going to vote fuckwits in that would mess up the economic engine room of the ROI and the indeed the island of Ireland!

  • Tochais Síoraí

    GLC, The the rumpus about Shannon/Belfast would’ve been the same if it was Shannon/Dublin. Nothing to do with NI/ROI and all that.

    You might remember the outrage some years back when the Shannon stopover for transatlantic flights was modified. They’re very sensitive about their airport in that neck of the woods, I supppose it has a lot to do with the fact that Shannon Airport was there when there was fekk all else.

    Also, like a lot of contributors to Slugger, you confuse SFs poor performance in the ROI elections as some sort of comment on NI whereas in reality it had bugger all to do with it. SF did poorly because their economic policies would have been framed better by a four year old with a crayon and their candidates weren’t the brightest lights on the street by a long shot.

    With regard to NI , all the parties in the ROI inc SF have essentially the same policy re a UI, closer links but complete political unity will happen when a maj in NI vote for it.

    What exactly then is SF’s raison d’etre in the Republic? Until they answer that question they’ll be irrelevant.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Fair do’s Greagoir & Tochais, though I note neither of you ran with the border poll ball.

    The general concensus of the ROI electorate appears to be that a UI is a fine aspiration, but until a NI majority vote for it, they’re more than happy with the status quo.

    Agree with Tochais point about SF’s relevance in modern ROI.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Billy had explained the border poll very well to you already.

    The 1 million Unionists/Protestants to half a million Nationalists/Catholics is an old myth perpetrated over the years by the Unionists. Recent figures in the NI census showed that the Unionists have a majority of only about 150,000 people. Twice the attendance at a game in Croke Park at the weekend.

    (800 and odd thousand to 700 and odd thousand is the difference. Not many really, to have the total monopoly to control the reigns of power. Hence the recent powersharing agreement!)

  • Wang Corr

    Things will look very different in 10-15 years when you will have thousands of students from the south going to college in NI because their parents won’t be afraid of them being blown up any more, and thousands of people in the south applying for jobs in NI because that fear will have evaporated, and thousand of people going for weekend beaks in NI for the same reason, and people buying property in NI, and marrying and settling down in NI and raising families.

    As I’ve said again and again and again on this site, the key to protecting the status quo in NI was the fear that Southerners had of the ‘Crazy North’ every time they turned on their TV and saw car bombs exploding and reports of riots, street wars and people getting ambushed and stabbed or kicked to death on their way home from their local after a quiet pint for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

    This was the trap that militant republicanism fell for. Their escalation of violent action during the troubles created a war-like scenario that the peaceful South copmpletely recoiled from. That fear and revulsion that many in the South felt at what was happening up North meant that the kind of cross-border traffic which would have materialised much more naturally & organically never happened. It set the whole process of natural integration back 50 years or more and cemented division and partition through bitterness and murderous hatred. It (hopefully) can & will finally begin now.

    Does this mean that in 15-20 years we’ll see a snap Border poll called and everyone will be magically transported to some kind of a UI paradise where everyone will skip along merrily hand in hand, and live happily ever after? I doubt it.

    However, the smart money now seems to be talking about a slow, gradual ‘re-integration’ process, starting with cross border co-operation and further economic cross-pollination (a la the type of messing we’re seeing with Aer Lingus/Shannon/Belfast at the moment) in the short to medium term and, possibly, re-unification at some stage in the fairly distant future. But hopefully the next couple of generations will manage to free themselves from the stains of their sick, grotesque upbringings and environment and create a society for real human beings.

  • Reader

    Cahal: 1. If there is a UI tomorrow, will you stop being British because you no longer get to ‘send MPs to Westminster’?
    2. Does that make da nort 60% British because the SF MPs dont go to Westminster?
    3. Are people from the Isle of Man & Channel Islands & Falklands not British? (Dear god how the mighty empire has fallen).

    1) Lib2106 was talking in the present tense. And Hong Kong was never part of the UK, unlike Northern Ireland.
    2) Since lib2016 was talking about the ‘Ulster British’, I assumed he had left yousns out anyway.
    3) Goodness knows. I am sure there are blogs that address their identities too. I do know that the UK consists of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. And the last three have devolved Parliaments/Assemblies.

  • Wang Corr,

    Well said, I think you are right, creeping integration is what’s happening. The border will have disappeared in peoples minds long before it disappears on the map.

    GLC,

    “they’re more than happy with the status quo.”

    I would disagree here, we recognise that it’s the best solution in the current climate. It’s certainly better than people blowing the shit out of each other with bombs, and beating each other to death.

    We may be tolerant of the status quo, but “more than happy”? I don’t think so.

  • Dewi

    The balance at the 2001 census was 157,985 more from Ptotestant tradition than Catholic. Ceteris paribus the net death / birth ratio reduces this majority by around 6,000 a Year.

    The difficulty with extrapolating this forward of course is population movements in and out. Very little net movement to Republic or Britain currently (indeed a small in migration from Britain last year) but no one knows what this disguises in terms of community balance.

    What is clear however is the scale of in-migration from Eastern Europe, currently 10,000 a year, and has been for 2 years. Some indications from UK figures that the movement is slowing, but at say 5000 a year till 2011 then that’s an influx of 40-50 thousand people = 2% of the population. Overwhelmingly Catholic by background this implies a significant input to the religious balalnce. No idea of effect on political balance however.

    Of course not all the population is allowed to vote and future relative birth rates might indeed equalise between communities.

    Lots of hypothetical stuff (and the caveat about disguised relative community emigration rates is important) but it is fairly certain that the gap in the next census will reduce significantly. My estimate:

    61,343 !! (plus or minus 15,000 !)

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Greagoir: ‘Billy had explained the border poll very well to you already.’

    Well actually no he hadn’t. He attempted to give the impression that SF want a border poll and Unionism doesn’t, which is clearly untrue.

    UFB: ‘We may be tolerant of the status quo, but “more than happy”? I don’t think so.’

    So where are all these mass protests at continuing partition? Where are the policies of non-co-operation with the UK? The fact is that many southerners regard the north as a foreign country and are happy to keep it at arms length whilst paying lip service to the notion of a UI.
    Other than idealistic reasons, what possible reason could the ROI populace have to acquire a place stuffed with hostile Unionists and embaressingly militant Republicans? The real irony is that Unionism clings to a notion of Britishness and Republicanism a notion of Irishness, both at least 50 years out of date.
    If the votes eventually stack up, the ROI will take notice — until then things are just fine and dandy.

    ‘Wang Corr,
    Well said, I think you are right, creeping integration is what’s happening.’

    Quite probably UFB, but it’s also possible to argue that a ‘creeping integration’ is happening between the ROI and the UK. The differences between the two jurisdictions are becoming ever harder to spot.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    ”Well actually no he hadn’t. He attempted to give the impression that SF want a border poll and Unionism doesn’t, which is clearly untrue.”

    So Unionism wants a border poll too? When is it happening?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    GLC, your 35% pro UI in a border poll in NI at the minute is prob on the money but I sense that figure is getting closer to the total nationalist vote (43%?)all the time.

    Where it will get more interesting is those where will those who are sitting on the fence on the constitutional issue (non-voters, Alliance types, Greens etc) will go. At the minute most of them are facing towards the Unionist side & would vote that way in a border poll. In 10-15 years time as the relevance of the border diminishes and immigrants (incl some from the Republic) start to hit the polling booths, I wouldn’t be so sure. Unionism’s challenge is to reign these guys in but unless they start smelling the coffee and broaden their appeal it’s going to get tasty.

    Fukkd if I know how it’ll be pan out but if Paddy Power index linked that 10-1 for 2027 it’d be fantastic value.

  • Reader

    Greagoir o’ Frainclin: So Unionism wants a border poll too? When is it happening?
    When the Secretary of State thinks it might change the Status Quo. Or, that’s what’s in the GFA.
    To ease your apparent scepticism:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1863919.stm

  • Dewi

    From your link Reader regarding the Republic:

    Mr Trimble described the country as a “pathetic, sectarian mono-ethnic, mono-cultural state”.

    Hmm – the liberal face of Unionism at its best.

    Border Poll would be useful academically but suggest a few more years peace b4 holding would be wise (not to ensure any particular result but to keep tension as low as possible)

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Mr Trimble described the country as a “pathetic, sectarian mono-ethnic, mono-cultural state”.

    I remember when he said that…subsequently a spate of racist attacks on the chinese community occured in NI.

    How wrong Trimble was regarding the Republic of Ireland, for we have people from many nations living and working, and yet we are not officially part of the British commonwealth.

  • GLC,

    “So where are all these mass protests at continuing partition? Where are the policies of non-co-operation with the UK? The fact is that many southerners regard the north as a foreign country and are happy to keep it at arms length whilst paying lip service to the notion of a UI.”

    So you’re continuum of emotions runs like so:
    More than happy > Happy > Mass Protest & Non-Cooperation ?

    There’s nothing in between Happy and Mass Protest & Non-Cooperation? Nothing like Toleration? Begrudging Acceptance? Dissapointment? Resignation? Anger… no no… straight to Mass Protest & Non-Cooperation… err yeah, whatever.

    On the other hand I fully agree that there’s massive cultural creep between Britain & Ireland (probably both ways). And wider than that between all Anglophonic nations, we take most of our cultural cues from the US of A these days, thanks to the ubiquitious nature of their TV programs, movies & music. One frustrating side effect of the anglophonic creep is the Australian Questioning Intonation where teenagers raise the pitch at the end every sentance as if it is a question? Thank you very much Neighbours & Home and Away.

    We’re also heavily influenced by our other European neighbours (Big Brother anyone?).

    Personally I find this culture creep maddening, the homogenous nature of western society is something to be lamented. You can’t go anywhere in the world now without seeing a McShithouse.

    But it’s not culture creep I’m talking about, it’s creeping integration… there’s no creeping integration between Ireland and Britain outside of our excellent and ever closer relationship within the EU.

    For the record I don’t believe the Free State should have left the UK in the 1920’s. We should have swallowed our pride and the country should have left as a unit or not at all. Partition is one of the worst things that has happened to Ireland (much worse than being put into the UK in the first place imo). It shouldn’t have been allowed under any circumstances. That was short sighted of the pro treaty brigade, the removal of the border should have been non-negotiable from the Irish perspective, even if it had meant all of the country staying within the UK.

    But you could get into any amount of might-have-beens.

  • “Mr Trimble described the country as a “pathetic, sectarian mono-ethnic, mono-cultural state”. ”

    Actually this is not true. Mr. Trimble described the country as a sectarian mono-ethnic, mono-cultural state. He did not use the word pathetic. It was in the speech (written for him of course, he is a politician afterall). On the day he thought better of using the word pathetic; commendable in my opinion.

    The unedited speech went into the press release and has been oft quoted since. This is what I hear anyway, if someone can produce a youtube of Mr. Trimble using the word Pathetic I’ll cheerfully withdraw the above.

    Of course he is right on the mono-cultural & mono-ethnic nature of the Republic by comparison with the UK. The UK is much more multi-ethnic & multi-cultural than the RoI. Great Britain accounts for 100% of the ethnic diversity and probably 99% of the cultural diversity in the UK. The mistake is to use synecdoche to imply that a given condition in GB automatically applys in NI, on the basis they are the two constituent parts of the UK. One might claim that a benefit of Lithuania being in the EU is that the Italian countryside has some magnificent views. Being in the EU doesn’t matter, you still have to go to Italy for the views. Being in the UK doesn’t matter, you still have to go to GB for the diversity.

    One difference between the RoI and NI is that RoI is mono-cultural while NI is bi-cultural (or should that be di-cultural, given the mutual exclusivity induced disection of the area?). Both are mono-ethnic. However the bi-culture is inherent in NI itself and is not a result of continuing UK membership. NI unifying with the RoI into a new Ireland would bring that bi-culture with it and transfer it to the new state, so you could say Ireland is Bi-cultural (in fact this is the current case when referring to the island) whether or not Ireland or a given part thereof is in or out of the United Kingdom.