Meeting about meeting?

Fair Deal referenced the possibility of a new unionist party in his “Party manoeuvres” post and tonight, according to the BBC, just such a potential gathering is taking place in Moygashel.

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  • Aquifer

    How about a new Onionist party. Layers of sectarian bile and thin skins. Good luck and good riddance.

  • slug

    Acquifier or perhaps an ononist party?

  • Turgon

    Well this is a least a start whether or not a new party is formed is of course not yet clear. I have no doubt that there would be an uphill struggle for any new unionist party. There is also I am sure a constituency for it but I have no idea how big that constituency would be. Remember though how everyone dismissed Paisley as out of touch and yesterday’s man when the GFA was signed. I can still remember the PUP and UDP laughing at him. It did, however, take quite a while for the DUP to defeat the UUP and that was despite comming from a much stronger base than any new party.

    A big challenge if a new party is formed would be maintaining momentum and a public profile. A few early defections would help but I doubt many big names will come.

  • slug

    Turgon

    Undoubtedly there is support for the position of the new party. A perusal of the recent vox pop in the Ballymena Guardian (not online) showed that of 6 people interviewed 6 showed hostility (of varying degrees) to the new Executive. However there is a difference between being opposed to the Exec and being willing to vote for a fringe group. After all, many of these unionists will still want to keep the DUP strong despite having a lot of reservations about its strategy.

  • Chris Donnelly

    This gathering is destined to fail. Like it or not, unionism has moved decisively, as the DUP’s considerable mandate in March 2007 indicates.

    The calibre- Allister apart, and he has prior form- of those resigning from the DUP since then will hardly have the party quaking.

    More like a case of dead wood and the embarrasingly sectarian extreme elements clearing off into the abyss.

    Good riddance. This is actually a sign of real progress and should be celebrated as such.

  • Turgon

    Slug,
    I agree entirely. I am not sure how willing people will be to damage the DUP if such damage is seen as likely to help SF. Clearly the DUP will major on this being a problem. They will of course raise fears of vote splitting etc.

    Any new party if it is to be relevant would have to quickly advance out of North Antrim which seems its most likely inital base. As I said an up hill struggle for many reasons. There would also of course be the question of which elections to contest and when.

    The only other possibility (and I think it is a remote one) is that if the new party started looking serious the sight of it might affect the DUP sucession and the behaviour of any new leader. I suspect the lure of power is too strong for that though.

  • slug

    I suspect there is more grass-roots hostility to the moves made by DUP and Paisley earlier this year than many here realise. Yes its a minority of unionism – and that’s the decisive shift. But its not insignificant.

  • me

    Slug there are 8 DUP disaffected. Thats quite significant!

  • Aquifer

    Another gang of own goalers who will make unionism even more foreign to England than at present, without gaining a single new vote for the union. Sinn Fein will be smiling like cheshire cats.

  • me

    Aquifer
    How so? They have their own worries, with FF and the SDLP hook up.

  • Bretagne

    Turgon –

    “The only other possibility (and I think it is a remote one) is that if the new party started looking serious the sight of it might affect the DUP sucession and the behaviour of any new leader. I suspect the lure of power is too strong for that though”

    I would be intersted if you can expand on thre impact of a fledgling new party on the DUP succession – for example which of the young pretenders do you think it promote/damage the most, supposing it were on track to have 2-3 in the assembly?

  • slug

    Bretagne

    My (unsolicited) view is that currently Robinson is strongly placed to take over but if this group became a threat the chances of Dodds would improve.

  • Interested Observer

    From conversations i have had over the past year I believe there are quite a number of traditional DUP voters and members unhappy with the DUP approach. However the majority of them are long time supporters of Paisley and don’t want to be seen to be critical of him given his record over the last 40 years. If it had been any other member of the party the St Andrews Agreement wouldn’t have seen the light of day.
    The recent decision by the church to by pass him is an interesting development and may well signal a growing level of discontent among his traditional supporters. The move may indeed give new boldness to those seeking to establish a new party.

  • Turgon

    Bretagne,

    I am not and have never been a member of the DUP. I have been in no party since I left the UUP years ago so in a way I am not a good person to ask

    I suspect slug’s view is pretty accurate. Remember that Dodds also has some West of the Bann credibility having been educated in Fermanagh. He has been careful not to be too closely associated with the love in. Gregory Campbell is a possibility and would be helped by fear of a new party but I suspect would not get it.

    I would be interested in how a new party would start to fight elections especially if there was a Westminister election soon. That could allow them to stand in a number of seats occupied by high profile DUP deal supporters (lundies?) without being accused of vote splitting which could allow in nationalists.

  • Interested Observer

    What about the prospect of Allister running against Paisley in North Antrim that would be an interesting one.

  • willowfield

    Moygashel?

    The venue kind of sums up the party.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Let’s see how the party holds together when Paisley stands down/dies. That’ll be interesting.

  • páid

    “Any new party if it is to be relevant would have to quickly advance out of North Antrim”

    in an easterly direction…… 🙂

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Turgon

    “I have no doubt that there would be an uphill struggle for any new unionist party.”

    I suppose the question about a new unionist party is, why? What would their objective be? To bring down the executive? I understand that there are unionists out there who are finding our new dispensation very hard to deal with emotionally, but putting the head before the heart for a moment – can any unionist really come to the dispassionate conclusion that a new unionist party bringing down the executive would be a good thing for unionism?

    I think most people now understand that the British government would deal most punitively with unionism in such a scenario.

    Again, I know there are unionists who are very upset that 8 May happened, but it DID happen, and we’re in a new world now.

    What would a new, nay-saying unionist party achieve, other than providing a home for cranks and bigots to moan about how unfair the world is?

  • I think it’s inevitable that some form of anti-DUP grouping will emerge eventually. That’s not to say that it will sweep the country tomorrow. After all Paisleyism began as just another populist brand of Independent Unionism in the steps of JW Nixon, Tommy Henderson, etc., and in opposition to a distant and unresponsive unionist elite. (Ultimately the UUP was able to manage this dissent in the Stormont era but there is no doubt that the dissent influenced what the UUP in Stormont could and could not do). Even if the Allister people remain a minor force in terms of votes and seats, I wonder what influence they would have on DUP policy.

  • mchinadog

    This new grouping which is possibly going to be formed from the malcontents in the DUP and others around Northern Ireland need to take some advice from those that have had experience of ex DUP MEP Jim Allister. Unless everyone says and does what he wants to happen, and when he has got all the publicity he hopes to get against his much hated ex leader Paisley with their help, he will up sticks as he has done twice before while in the DUP. Looking at it from the outside this seems to be all about revenge rather than substantive issues, a lot of people may not like the optics or the forced system of Government, but the Executive is delivering and as it will continue to do so this grouping will become less relevant.

  • Truth & Justice

    Lets spit the Unionist vote even more well done Mr Allistair we call call the new party Democratic split Unionist Party

  • Bob Wilson

    Interested Observer:
    ‘What about the prospect of Allister running against Paisley in North Antrim that would be an interesting one.’
    He would have to resign his MEP seat if he were to win Nth Antrim. I’m pretty sure I’m right in saying that it would then fall to the DUP to nominate his successor for Brussels!

  • Bemused

    Ha, ha and again ha….Allister, Cubbitt, Willie Frazer(!) – what a spectacularly discontented bunch of refusenik flat-earthers. Off you go lads – please form as many parties as you see fit. No doubt you’ll be signing up all of the intellectual unionist heavyweights of the day – Willie McCrea, Robin Stirling, Willie Ross, Willie Thompson and every other biggoted, bog-trotting bumpkin in ‘the province’.

  • Mrs Norris

    “He would have to resign his MEP seat if he were to win Nth Antrim. I’m pretty sure I’m right in saying that it would then fall to the DUP to nominate his successor for Brussels!”

    In that hypothetical situation, there would have to be an election. The DUP could no more nominate a successor than he could. Don’t you think they would already have replaced him if they had any say in the matter! There is no list system in N Ireland.

  • interested

    With this group – as with any other – their support will only be partly dictated by their policies, and the rest will be dictated by their ‘personalities’.

    There is a level of comfortableness with devolution (you can argue for hours about how weak or strong it is), but I’m not convinced that even if there actually was widespread opposition that these people are the ones to capitalise on it.

    Other than Jim Allister they all have varying degrees of sanity (without straying too close to playing the man). They are at the very least perceived by many ordinary unionists to be nut-cases so leaving aside any issues they may have for the minute, that doesn’t make them a particularly attractive force for the ordinary person who’s interest in politics is voting and watching the news.

    And before we leave that issue – is it just me or are there just a tad too many former/failed/ex- elected representatives there looking for some way back, nay any way back to winning a seat somewhere. At various times in this campaign we’ve hard from Willie Ross (hardly a man for the future, however sound he may or may not be), Willie Frazer – who can muster less than 100 votes in Foyle at an Assembly election, Cedric Wilson – no commentary needed, Walter Millar – who left the DUP to run for Ulster Independence (as did Willie Frazer although he didnt leave the DUP) so can hardly be described as a ‘unionist’ and a group of Councillors in Ballymena who could hardly ever have been described as being in touch with mainstream unionist thinking.

    Which takes us on to their ‘policies’. What exactly are they? Well we all know they hate the DUP – possibly even more than they hate SF. We know they don’t want SF in Government, but then mind you, many of them dont want the SDLP there either. I honestly believe that if you ask Willie Ross that he’s not a man who believes in anything other than plain old simple majority rule. Not that he believes it would be preferable but isn’t possible, just that he believes that its the only suitable and acceptable form of Government here.

    The others who opposed going into Government with SF – some of them if rumours are to be true actually spoke in favour at DUP consultation meetings, but due to falling out with party colleagues have decided that they’ll claim they’re leaving over grand strategy. Others said don’t do it in the spring, but wait till the autumn – oh dear – we’re remarkably close to the autumn now. Others rally around the huge issue of the ‘army council’. An army council without an army doesn’t seem to have much purpose to me mind you, but then I suppose that doesn’t matter when you’re looking for something to be angry about.

    Try as I might I just can’t believe that they will really be taken seriously. There are just too many people who weren’t even taken as serious characters within the DUP for them to be remotely attractive to anything other than a very very hardcore of the people who now seem to believe that Free Presbyterianism is a bit weak for them.

    Anyway, – who’s running a book as to when the first split within the new party takes place? Bob & Cedric managed a year or so – my money’s on about 3 months.

    Bob Wilson
    If Allister did run against Paisley and win (unlikely) there actually would be a Euro by-election. I dont think you can nominate substitutes for the Euro Parliament.

  • Bigger Picture

    I respect the views of Turgon very highly on this site but i wonder Mr Turgon if you are pinnig your hopes on people who have never been in a capable position in the far low echalons of the DUP and now you believe they can lead a brand new party. Lets have a look at the candidates they would have.

    N Antrim – Jim Allister (personal grudge against Paisley) If not Jim due to Europe the Robin Stirling, Gaston or Gillespie.

    Lagan Valley- Cecil Calvert (resigned as he wasn’t offered a council position)

    East Belfast- Charlie Tosh (rows within Castlereagh Council)

    North Belfast – Fraser Agnew (career opportunist)

    West Belfast- Any half wit who’s willing to side with the UDA

    South Down- Jim Wells?

    Strangford- George Ennis (didn’t get selected by DUP and then ran against them for UKUP) or heaven forbid Cedric Wilson

    North Down- Bob or David Vance?

    Upper Bann- David Calvert (personal Grudge with DUP spanning 20 years)

    East Antrim- Jack McKee (resigned from the DUP more times than i’ve gone to sleep)

    East Londonderry- a Cubitt (can’t remember which one stood here) or Wille Ross (UUP)

    N & S A – Willie Fraser (enough said really has stood in all assembly elections and hasn’t even figured).

    My point is that all this talk of a new unionist party sounds amazing for all those out there who believe the tide will change against the DUP but when we see who exactly these people will be, it is the same tired old crowd that has been stirring it up for years. Is this what your basing your hopes on Turgon??

  • Turgon

    Bigger Picture,
    A very fair criticism. I am, however, opposed to the current arragements for the reasons I have outlined previously. Thankyou fdor your respect and at the risk of a mutual admination society I greatly respect and appreciate your contributions.

    I agree that these people may not be the ideal people to start a new party. The problem is though that if they are the ones who articulate the view I support I guess I have to vote with them since I do not see an alternative.

    The suggestion that their existence might make the DUP adopt a more traditional (ie in keeping with their previous pledges) approach is also a hope.

  • Lamaria

    Nobody has mentioned South Antrim? Mel Lucas? A former election agent of Jim Allister. Was selected to run for DUP in S Antrim in 2007 Assembly Election, when sitting MLAs Paul Girvan and Wilson Clyde were deselected. Lucas came seventh and polled 2840 first preference votes (more than the SDLP’s Thomas Burns). Admittedly he’s not a heavyweight, but he has more pedigree than Willie Fraser!

    S Antrim DUP picked hardliners to contest the 2007 election because they didn’t want to go into government with SF. When Paisley made the move there was considerable annoyance, particularly when it becmae clear that S Antrim MP Willie McCrea was willing to go along with him. He is now seeing a bit of a backlash. Watch this space… I think S Antrim is the most likely base for an anti-agreement unionist party

  • dub

    Turgon,

    Perhaps you could use you undoubted intellect and elegant command of the English language to explain to us croppies exactly what it is that you object to in the current arrangements and what arrangements you would like to see in their place? What place would nationalists have in your preferred arrangements? As you have already admitted that in order to support your viewpoint politically you essentially have to support a crowd of boneheads and no hopers, would the same apply to boneheads and no hopers with guns? I have pointed out before my extreme distaste for your views in that you appear to be a sophisticated and liberal minded person living in considerable ease who is happy to pontificate on outcomes for ni that can only in my view lead to much death and suffering for innocent people who live in considerably less comfort than yourself. In other words i believe that your views are those of an armchair general…

    Care to comment?

  • northcoastunionist

    why would allister have to resign his euro seat? paisley and hume held the north antrim and foyle seats while at the same time meps

  • Bigger Picture

    northcoastunionist

    Because at the time they were allowed to do this, however you can’t be an MP and an MEP anymore. Instigated by the EU i believe

  • Bigger Picture

    Lamaria

    I don’t agree with your analysis of S Antrim. This is a seat until 2005 UUP and could still swing back that way with all the crap the REAL DUP is up to in S Antrim. As well as this there was alot of outrage that Girvan was deselected (i don’t know why) and i believe that if he had of been on the ballot a third seat would have been possible. I think Lucas has stirred up an awful lot in S Antirm but i doubt if there was alot of substance behind it. There is not the backlash of councillor’s in Antrim or Newtownabbey Council as in N Antrim, were i believe such a base would start from.

  • Turgon

    dub,
    I have been attacked on this web site before but never with such elegance, eloquence and tact. You probably also expose some contradictions in my position but do we not all have internal contradictions in our views?

    I thank you for your kind remarks about my use of English and indeed my intellect. I never thought it that good and indeed for a long time merely read slugger as I was a bit afraid of my inadequate ability to express myself in writing (or typing actually). I actually do not live in that much ease though I hope eventually to get to the top of the greasy pole which is my job and maybe then have a little ease. The current house is not exactly a mansion and the cars are falling apart.

    Still after all that an attack so elegant requires a response so here are a few points.

    I cannot support unrepentant terrorists in government.

    I cannot support a system of government which essentially makes individual ministers omnipotent in their own spheres with no real collective responsibility and little accountability. The row about the Causeway demonstrates the folly of this very well.

    I cannot support a system whereby our politicians have essentially no prospect of being voted out of power.

    On a general point, personally I feel that our politicians are too parochial and we cannot even make decisions for the benefit of a small entity (Northern Ireland), the rows about things like hospitals is an excellent example.

    In terms of death and suffering I abhor death. Especially in view of my religious poition I hate the idea of anyone dying when they might then enter a lost eternity. It is a hypothetical question but one I have asked myself: if unionist acceptance of a united Ireland would have prevented the 3000 deaths here would I have supported it? It is of course purely hypothetical, would not have avoided violence and I was 1 when Stormont was suspended ( by the way I suspect my command of English was quite poor in 1972). The answer though is yes I would have accepted it.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Turgon

    If I may politely elbow my way in?

    Regarding your points (not in order):

    “I cannot support a system of government which essentially makes individual ministers omnipotent in their own spheres with no real collective responsibility and little accountability.”

    This is an issue that exists entirely within the competence of our shiny new government. What you want is reform, and as such, it is an issue on which you can hope to achieve satisfaction within the existing structures. It is a reasonable criticism, and not one that can only be addressed through the destruction of the institutions.

    Or in short, your view could easily exist as a form of critical support (to use a Marxist term) and is not in itself a reason not to back the institutions.

    “I cannot support a system whereby our politicians have essentially no prospect of being voted out of power.”

    Ditto.

    “On a general point, personally I feel that our politicians are too parochial…”

    This seems to demonstrate a crisis of faith in democracy itself. Though I might agree with your judgement on the abilities of our political class, I cannot agree that this means we shouldn’t have one. You get the government you deserve – I happen to think we deserve one, and I hope that as stability grows and the institutions take firm root, the standard of political representation will improve. That’s usually the way it works in nascent democracies (which is what we now are).

    As Churchill said, democracy is the worst form of government ever devised by man. Except for all the others.

    “I cannot support unrepentant terrorists in government.”

    Your first point, though I’ll deal with it last, as it’s the only truly fundamental criticism that requires the destruction of the institutions. I won’t try to challenge your convictions on the nature of SF and the IRA’s campaign. All I would say is that Catriona Ruane never killed anyone. Michelle Gildernew never killed anyone. Martin McGuinness, Gerry Kelly and Conor Murphy were all IRA volunteers, and everyone can draw their own conclusions from that fact. But Martin McGuinness is 57. Gerry Kelly is 54. Conor Murphy is 44. Soon enough, they’ll all depart the scene, and as long as we grasp the peaceful opportunities we have today, then they will all be replaced by people who were never IRA volunteers and who never killed anyone.

    Or in short, if you can tolerate it for now, your children and grandchildren will never have to worry about terrorism in any guise, the way you and I and our generation has had to. Have you the strength and stoicism to pay that price for your grandchildren?

    “The answer though is yes I would have accepted it.”

    This is an incredibly enlightening insight into your thinking. (And I suspect, into the thinking of a particular section of unionism.) Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Turgon

    Billy Pilgrim,
    “Or in short, if you can tolerate it for now, your children and grandchildren will never have to worry about terrorism in any guise”

    Oh no I have little doubt my children will have to worry about it. Indeed the discussions with Elenwe regarding moving back to her home area involve such issues on a regular basis. After all the person who may become “our” MP has basically said as much and she is one of those you proclaim as not in the IRA. I have no doubt you are correct and she was never in the IRA. That just fuels my concern.

  • Lamaria

    Bigger Picture,

    Yes S Antrim was UUP up until 2005 … and you’re point is?

    To suggest that it will swing back to the UUP is ridiculous considering the vote swing from UUP to DUP in recent years. Burnside is losing credibility after a poor 2007 election performance (7th count for the former MP!!) and some outbursts in the Assembly that are isolating him from the UUP leadership. A small drift in moderate UUP voters to Alliance in recent years could also be argued in the constituency.

    DUP S Antrim is hardline DUP – look at McCrea, Clarke and Lucas their 3 candidates at the last election. N Antrim is DUP leadership territory, DUP homeland. It will be used by anti-agreement unionists as a media ploy, to raise their profile, but they will see their real target as S Antrim. McCrea is in for a difficult time locally.

    As an aside I see no hope for the misfits in this anti-agreement party in whatever guise.

    I think they will attract some protest votes, but not enough to make any impact. It is a slow ploy by Allister to raise his profile before the 2008 Euro elections. He has more chance as an Independent (or whatever!) here than becoming an MP surely??!

    2008 Euro elections prediction

    Sinn Féin (de Brún) top the poll
    DUP (poss Lord Morrow, poss Arlene Foster)
    Straight run between SDLP, UUP and Allister for third seat.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Turgon

    “Oh no I have little doubt my children will have to worry about it.”

    That’s what I’m saying. The opportunity exists for us, today, to ensure they won’t have to. What it requires, however, is for most of us to have suck up certain things we don’t like. I’m up for that challenge, and I implore you to join me.

    “Indeed the discussions with Elenwe regarding moving back to her home area involve such issues on a regular basis. After all the person who may become “our” MP has basically said as much and she is one of those you proclaim as not in the IRA.”

    Eh?

    If you’re referring to Michelle Gildernew’s gaffe of a number of months ago, all I would say is that, remember she is a politician. Watch what she does, not what she says. She’s not preparing for conflict, she’s working the institutions and trying to do a good job for our agriculture sector. If Elenwe is suggesting you move to Dungannon/Enniskillen, and your reason for not doing so is that you’re afraid of Michelle Gildernew, or indeed of the IRA, all I can say is, you are worrying needlessly.

    “I have no doubt you are correct and she was never in the IRA. That just fuels my concern.”

    I don’t understand. How is your concern fuelled by the idea that Michelle Gildernew wasn’t in the IRA? (She wasn’t.)

    Seriously Turgon, looking forward, the twenty years are going to be peaceful. There’s every chance that peace can become our default setting and violence become taboo (even in the midst of political change). It all depends on what we do now, and in the years ahead. That is our millennial challenge.

    Your previous post suggested a real regard for peace and for human life. I applaud that. I hope we are at the beginning of a long, long peace, and I’m prepared to do some swallowing for that end. I hope, and trust, that you will come around to this view eventually.

    I doubt Jim Allister and the Moygashel warriors will.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Could anyone answer my question of last night: that is, what would any new naysaying unionist party actually hope to achieve?

  • Turgon

    Billy Pilgrim,
    It is a bit irrelevant but to your questions / comments are, I believe, sincere and hence, warrant an answer.

    “If Elenwe is suggesting you move to Dungannon/Enniskillen, and your reason for not doing so is that you’re afraid of Michelle Gildernew, or indeed of the IRA, all I can say is, you are worrying needlessly”

    No it is Elenwe (South Fermanagh born and bred) who fears going home and who I am to tell her that her fears are unfounded?

    “I don’t understand. How is your concern fuelled by the idea that Michelle Gildernew wasn’t in the IRA? (She wasn’t.) ”

    Well if a relatively young woman (I believe she is about my age) who was not a terrorist still thinks in terms of a resumption of the “war” then that really worries me. Why do you think she is such a hate figure for unionists?

    In terms of 20 years peace yes I reckon that is about right. It is a bit longer than the timing between the end of the border campaign and the start of the troubles but is give or take the right time frame before it starts again. And yes I reckon Elenwe is right South Fermanagh would be a typical place where it will start again.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Turgon

    “In terms of 20 years peace yes I reckon that is about right. It is a bit longer than the timing between the end of the border campaign and the start of the troubles but is give or take the right time frame before it starts again. And yes I reckon Elenwe is right South Fermanagh would be a typical place where it will start again.”

    My point is that it need never start again. Because, frankly, everything is different now. Can you countenance a future where peace is more than simply a lull between violent periods? Where the peace is secured? Because I think we are now entering into a period that might be potentially just that, perhaps for the first time ever.

    Why so pessimistic?

    As for the argument about Michelle Gildernew, I have to admit, I don’t get it.

  • Turgon

    “Why so pessimistic?”

    Elenwe does not post on these things she is not that political. I would suggest ask her cousin and a few other relatives.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Turgon

    I meant more generally. Why so pessimistic about the future? (I wouldn’t presume to ask about private family matters.)

  • Bretagne

    Turgon : thanks for the viewpoint (and slug)

    “I suspect slug’s view is pretty accurate. Remember that Dodds also has some West of the Bann credibility having been educated in Fermanagh. He has been careful not to be too closely associated with the love in. Gregory Campbell is a possibility and would be helped by fear of a new party but I suspect would not get it.”

    Interesting – I see Dodds as not having the common touch, but Campbell’s got a bit too much of it.
    (I suspect I also will not be consulted?)
    What about Jeffrey slipping through the middle? (so to speak)

  • Turgon

    Bretagne,
    Good question. I agree re Dodds lacking common touch and Campbell seems maybe a bit too angry. At a guess I would be suprised if an exUUP person could get it and so I would have said unlikely to be Jeffrey.

    In all honesty what do I know though. I am not even in the party, never have been and do not support them. My Free presbyterian relatives are completely non political so asking them would be pointless, they would just discuss the finer points of calvanism or creationism etc.

  • Bretagne

    “they would just discuss the finer points of calvanism or creationism etc”

    I see your point…

  • dub

    Turgon,

    I found your reply to my post very enlightening and also quite moving… i would ask you, as per billy, why do you think that ni is doomed to violence again in 20 years time? I genuinely believe that it is not… but of course I could be wrong. If you are retrospectively prepared to endorse a united ireland in 1921 (at the behest of men of violence) if the 2000 dead of the troubles could have been avoided, then surely it is right to accept the current compromise (a much lesser one than a united ireland) in order to spare the innocent (by this i mean the vast bulk of our people who are really apolitical yet are doomed to suffer the most upon any outbreak of fresh troubles instigated by dogamatists on both sides) future suffering?

    Regards,

    Dub.