Common Travel Area to go?

It may have survived Irish secession and the second World War but it seems the Common Travel Area may soon be over. The UK intends to introduce an e-border scheme for all air and sea passengers in 2009. This would mean Irish citizens would need to be in possession of a passport when entering the UK by those means. The UK is not expected to apply the scheme to the land border and it appears the Irish government may introduce a similar e-border scheme as well.

  • RBinge

    What’s the practical implication for travellers from Northern Ireland to Great Britain?

  • Just as a matter of interest, when was the last time anyone, anywhere including BFS and BHD, boarded an aircraft without identification, of which the passport is the most usual form?

    That said, I think I did it last October to fly from SFO to LAX (but Frontier Air made up for it by refusing all non-US credit cards).

  • Dec

    This would mean Irish citizens would need to be in possession of a passport when entering the UK by those means.

    Or, to be precise, people travelling from the Republic by those means.

  • hotdogx

    I think this is a good thing in general, it will allow us to implement shengen and carry national ID cards for travel in the EU, this will help us again to conform to EU norms and to protect ourselves better but only as long as this does not affect cross border travel in Ireland. Irish customs should police NI ports/airports aswell and an all-ireland approach should be adopted for this purpose. A separate NI customs should be created to allow them to work to an “Ireland” agenda in cooperation with Irish customs. But due to the existence of NI we will still be forced to keep some things, e.g. left (wrong side)side driving, 2 currencies etc which will always hold Ireland back.

  • Harry Flashman

    When boarding a flight from Dublin to Derry recently I was told I would need a passport, no not as identification but because the operators, Loganair, said it was an international flight and therefore the passport was required. When you fly back down to Dublin from Derry you have to go through passport control which surprised me, downright unconstitutional if you ask me.

    With regard to this issue it seems to be an utterly pointless exercise if you can simply cross the land border and take a flight or boat from Belfast. Wasn’t the whole point of the opt out from Schengen that both nations respected each others’ ability to police their respective borders?

    I recall travelling through Dublin airport with my foreign wife and being told that Irish immigration authorities regarded themselves as “covering the arses of the Brits” and vice versa as regards visas issued to each country and that such was the importance of the common travel area that they would refuse entrance to people entering the Republic if they were suspected of trying to travel on to the UK without a valid British visa even if they were in possession of a valid Irish permit.

    I don’t know whether this was true or whether he was just trying to make sure we had valid visas (we did) but it was certainly my experience that the Irish immigration authorities were much more punctilious about checking passports and if I might add unhelpful than their UK counterparts.

  • I am dead against the concept of being “asked for your papers” and if identity cards are ever enforced in Britain or Ireland I will carry my card in my shoe.

    British Labour’s obsession with monitoring the movement of citizens is going to spill over into Ireland, is erecting barriers that have not existed between the two Islands since the aftermath of the second world war, and will not make life any safer in reality for anyone.

    What will happen with all this data that will be accumulated about the movements of British and Irish citizens around these islands? How will it be policed?

    This is the nanny state at its very worst.

  • I’m not sure how driving on the “wrong” side of the road is holding Ireland or the UK back…

    Anyway, this is an interesting one but not really as big a deal as it seems – it’s not like it effects Irish people’s ability to reside in the UK without a visa, or vice versa.

    It will be interesting to see what effect this has on NI residents – will they need their passports too?

    I’m not really sure if this will give Ireland the freedom to join Schengen, or if such a move would be worth much anyway besides being able to use National ID instead of a passport.

    The main benefits of Schengen are found on landborders between EU countries and as it stands we have as relaxed a land border as any mainland European country does.

  • Malcolm Redfellow asked:

    > Just as a matter of interest, when was the last time anyone, anywhere including BFS and BHD, boarded an aircraft without identification, of which the passport is the most usual form?

    bmi at Belfast City Airport never ask for ID – even if you’re boarding with an eticket. Always wondered why they don’t need it but an efare from easyJet does require some form of photo id?

  • Valenciano

    “I’m not sure how driving on the “wrong” side of the road is holding Ireland or the UK back…”

    Indeed especially considering that 35% of the world drives on that side and some of those who changed did so as a result of a guy called Bonaparte and a guy called Hitler. Certainly Japan and Australia don’t seem to do too badly economically. 🙂

  • hovetwo

    “When you fly back down to Dublin from Derry you have to go through passport control which surprised me, downright unconstitutional if you ask me.”

    But you don’t need a passport! Photo ID like a driver’s licence will do the job if you tell them you’ve come from the UK or Ireland.

    Sometimes “howerya” in the right accent has been known to suffice……. Depends on whether they’re checking for economic migrants or terrorists that day.

  • George

    This means that British citizens living in Northern Ireland will need passports to travel to the rest of the UK.

    So it seems Northern Ireland will be outside the UK’s e-border but within the Republic’s one.

  • RBinge @ 11:21 AM:

    I am dead against the concept of being “asked for your papers”

    Fair enough, so are we all; except …

    I have a daughter who was five minutes away from work in the World Trade Center on 11th September 2001 and a wife who should have been on the Piccadilly Line on 7th July 2005 (and was walking through Euston Station just before 1 pm on 10th September 1973). It all changes one’s perspective on these things.

    Nor am I entirely convinced by Stephen Collins’s piece on the front of today’s Irish Times;

    Throughout the period since independence, even during the second World War and the IRA terrorist campaign, travel has been possible without any identity document between the two states.
    Well, except for the wartime identity documents (I’ve still got my parents’ cards). And that’s not my recollection either of taking a car on the ferries during the 1970s and 1980s, nor the experience of my bearded brother-in-law with a strong Northern accent.

    … the application of e-border controls in both countries with close co-operation between the respective authorities would effectively seal off the two islands.
    Pardon? I’m still not clear what that really means, except it sounds suspiciously like that Times headline: “Storms in the channel. Continent cut off.”

    Get a grip. It’s the 21st century.

  • foreign correspondent

    Presumably the immigration checks will continue to be done on anyone coming from any EU country, as is the case at the moment. So how will this help implement Schengen as one poster has said? It goes against the whole spirit of Schengen which removes internal EU controls while strengthening the external EU border. At present you can go between Spain and Portugal or France and Germany, for example, without systematic checking.
    The UK is adding borders not removing them. This, along with the refusal to adopt the Euro, shows that the UK wants to be inside and outside the EU at the same time. One day they will have to make their bl**dy mind up, IMHO!

  • Harry Flashman

    *But you don’t need a passport! Photo ID like a driver’s licence will do the job if you tell them you’ve come from the UK or Ireland.

    Sometimes “howerya” in the right accent has been known to suffice……. Depends on whether they’re checking for economic migrants or terrorists that day.*

    Indeed that would probably work for me with my bap face, paddy pink complexion and a Derry accent that could cut coul’ steel, not so sure my Asian wife could carry it off though.

    *I have a daughter who was five minutes away from work in the World Trade Center on 11th September 2001 and a wife who should have been on the Piccadilly Line on 7th July 2005 (and was walking through Euston Station just before 1 pm on 10th September 1973). It all changes one’s perspective on these things.*

    And how precisely would carrying identity papers have prevented any of those attacks? They were all carried out by people who were in the country legitimately, as are indeed 95% of terrorist attacks worldwide.

  • Dewi

    “I’m not sure how driving on the “wrong” side of the road is holding Ireland or the UK back…”

    Not sure myself but if the change from Left to Roght is made it musat be done gradually.

  • Dewi

    Right and must

  • George

    Wasn’t Ireland’s Schengen opt out under the Amsterdam Treaty because of the Common Travel Area?

    If this goes, does the Republic now move closer to joining Schengen?

    Can Northern Ireland become part of the Schengen zone while the rest of the UK stays out?

  • Rory

    “Not sure myself but if the change from Left to Right is made it must be done gradually.”

    Ah, Dewi, I never suspected that you were so influenced by the philosophy of New Labour.

  • qubol

    Harry: “I recall travelling through Dublin airport with my foreign wife and being told that Irish immigration authorities regarded themselves as “covering the arses of the Brits””

    A lot of South Africans and Australians I’ve met in London all say that if you’ve over stayed your visa in the UK and you need to get out or fly back in then you go through Dublin and take the ferry over. I can see how it would work

  • hotdogx

    Shengen allows us to travel to European destinations with just an ID card, very convenient indeed. Shengen will allow us to implement our own controls or spot checks as are carried out at other european borders. If the UK (referring to Britain for some readrs) wishes to tighten her borders its her business. I believe the irish government should implement shengen to protect “all Ireland” interests by insisting on a separate identity for NI. IDs are required when you go by sea or air between NI and the UK already so what would change. This would be much more effective a less costly than the ineffective expensive and partitionist policing of a land border, It will be just like the bad days all over again!! This is a UK problem not an Irish problem as as the irish customs rightly point out they are covering Britain’s arse as said above, although the irish government has an obligation to ensure that
    all ireland is not adversely affected by Britains
    border ideas.

    Driving on the left, some points:
    I read somewhere that 10% of accidents in ireland are due to people forgetting which side to drive on, can somebody confirm this?

    Most visitors come from countries who drive on this side.

    More than 2/3 of the world drives on the right more again if you count it in km of roads

    All our neighbours except of course the UK continue to drive on the left.

    Left driving countries are ex british colony or remote areas in the world, australia for example

    Most vehicles are built LHD due to this many are not sold in ireland. renault twingo, lancias, dacias, to name but a few incuding alot of american vehicles.

    our vehicles are more expensive and not as well equipped.

    Huge problem for tourism

    Migrant workers, all form Right side driving countries, how many have had accidents recently.

    Europe may part fund a changeover,

    I have visited so far about 35 countries and i have yet to visit one that drives on our side.

    I have lived in france for years, every time i go back to Ireland i feel its ridiculous!

    If a change over was to happen i believe it could only be done in a united Ireland.

  • hotdogx

    NI in shengen and the uk not. interesting point george, any answers people?

  • Harry Flashman @ 12:24 PM

    … how precisely would carrying identity papers have prevented any of those attacks? They were all carried out by people who were in the country legitimately, as are indeed 95% of terrorist attacks worldwide.

    In the context, an interesting use of the word “legitimately”.

    Incidentally, I seem to recall, as of earlier this year, there were going on for 30 (as opposed to the — what was it? — 4 of 7/7 and the — again, what was it? — 19 of 9/11) “illegitimates” in detention in the UK. That implies the system might have some teeth.

    And, in view of the 100% of terrorist attacks worldwide, why am I just a bit happier that the (previously pretty useless) immigration and entry requirements to the UK are being beefed up?

  • barnshee

    UK Non Schengen =ROI Non Schengen
    ROI Schengen UK Non Schengen = Immigration control at Border
    Thus
    UK Non Schengen =ROI Non Schengen

  • Elvis Parker

    ‘ have visited so far about 35 countries and i have yet to visit one that drives on our side.

    I have lived in france for years, every time i go back to Ireland i feel its ridiculous!’

    Which is probably just as well or you might kill yerself!

  • There is a briefing paper on The implications for Ireland and the UK arising from the development of recent EU policy on migration by Piaras Mac Éinrí, Irish Centre for Migration Studies, NUI Cork, on line. See http://migration.ucc.ie/schengencta.htm

    It seems to cover all the developments up to the present.

    There also has been a recent debate at http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?t=26974

    Schengen or not, it ain’t gonna affect the immigration lines at JFK or EWR, or the need for “people skills” of the Homeland Security petty-tyrants found there.

  • hotdogx

    Yea elvis every time i go back i have to keep pinching myself, when im back in ireland i feel at ease and i forget easily, thats why i suppose i never made the mistake abroad anywhere else. It must be hell for all the visitors though. Many people i have spoken to have underlined this as the reason the would not go to ireland with their car, a big nono for us! Driving on opposite sides is dangerous expensive and stupid i think we can all agree on that.

    Barnshee,
    I can take it from your little mathematical demonstration above that you agree that NI partition etc, is the reason Ireland cant easily or was prevented from implementing shengen.

  • … have visited so far about 35 countries and I have yet to visit one that drives on our side.

    Unlike large swathes of the world’s surface, not excluding Idaho, Tottenham and parts of the County Kerry, where it seems optional.

    Let’s not blame this one on the Brits. Didn’t the Austro-Hungarian Empire keep left? There is a footnote to history that Czechoslovakia changed from left to right six weeks after the German occupation of 1939, followed by Hungary a year or so later. I believe that Austria, too, may have altered sides only after the 1938 Anschluss. However, to be fair, I believe the changes had been agreed long before. I also believe that a “Paris Convention on the Protection of Industrial Property” may cover this, and dates from 1883.

    And what about railways? Do they count?

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Be sure to have your UK passports when ye’s are dropping over the ‘border’ down south.

  • hotdogx

    Malcolm Redfellow
    Nobodys blaming the brits, most of the world originally drove on the left. Hitler was the biggest converter to the right while napoleon made it a rule for France and its territories. But i suppose its like joining the euro we ought to get with the times and not wait for britain. imagine if we had waited for them to join the euro or to metric and this goes for shengen too.

    Railways, some interesting points for you:
    supprisingly most railways in the world trains pass on the left, mainly due to the fact that it was a British invention and that British engineers built some of the first great railways of the world. France is an example where many of its first railways built with the aid of British engineers is a country where road traffic drives on the right and trains pass each other on the left in keeping with the original practice.They change over at the german border where trains and road traffic are on the right. Irelands railways are very secial in that our gauge is 1600mm unlike anywhere in the world, the general standard being 1435mm also being the UK standard. There is some history how this came about, but the advantge in the end was even though most of the railways in ireland being built by the british for strategical not commercial or transport reasons UK trains could not run on Irish railways.

  • Gareth

    You don’t need to be in Schengen to accept ID cards as a form of travel document. Citizens of other EU countries can come to the UK with an ID card at the moment. The reason we can’t travel with ID cards is – rather obviously – because neither the UK or Ireland issue them! But if they did, we could enter Schengen with them despite not being members.

  • hotdogx

    are you sure gareth because most border control places are aware of the situation in ireland and the uk. I had an identity card years ago and it worked going to holland from belgium back in the 90s when i forgot my passport, it was a proof of age card with a photo and EIRE, Ireland on it, HAHA issued by the gards with just a photo

  • Harry Flashman

    **And, in view of the 100% of terrorist attacks worldwide, why am I just a bit happier that the (previously pretty useless) immigration and entry requirements to the UK are being beefed up?**

    I haven’t got the slightest problem with foreigners being expected to carry identification papers when in my country, they are guests and must abide by our rules, I do however have a massive problem about having to get a permission slip from the government in order to allow me to walk outside my front door.

    *Left driving countries are ex british colony or remote areas in the world,*

    Most of southern Africa, India, Pakistan, large parts of the Caribbean, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, yup all those hellish awful places.

    *our vehicles are more expensive and not as well equipped.*

    Japan the world’s biggest car manufacturers drive on the left too, are their cars badly equipped and expensive?

    *I read somewhere that 10% of accidents in ireland are due to people forgetting which side to drive on, can somebody confirm this?*

    Accidents which I presume are caused by drivers not used to driving on the left, so let’s change everyone over to the right after a lifetime driving on the other side and then there’ll be no more accidents, erm, that’ll work well won’t it?

    So because tourists, migrant workers and visitors have difficulty with the left hand drive, the indigenous 98% should make a massive change to accommodate them, is that it? Should the Irish population all drop English and learn Polish and Latvian instead also?

  • Gareth

    hotdogx

    I’ve checked on a few sites to make sure. National identity cards from EU states which confirm nationality are valid within the EU as travel documents, and the sites confirm this for the UK too. Plus on the UKIPS website it says that if our new card states the nationality, which it probably will, then UK citizens will be able to use it as a travel document. I’m sure the same will apply to Irish ID cards if they are ever introduced.

  • dewi

    Like white cars could change sides on Saturday and red ones on a Sunday…..

  • Blue Hammer

    *So because tourists, migrant workers and visitors have difficulty with the left hand drive, the indigenous 98% should make a massive change to accommodate them, is that it? Should the Irish population all drop English and learn Polish and Latvian instead also?*

    Or Irish?

  • Cormac

    Chanced across this a little while ago and just spent the last while looking for it again – it’s about ‘Dagen H’, the day the Swedish switched from driving on the left to the right in the 1960s. Worth a look, if that’s your kind of thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagen_H

    Interestingly, there were no major car accidents that day, and no accidents attributed to the changeover.

    Although I think it’s going to be a nightmare getting all our cars converted if we were to do the same here (most Swedish already drove RHD cars – but on the right…) or a windfall for the converters!

  • hotdogx on Oct 24, 2007 @ 03:02 PM

    Ireland’s railways are very special in that our gauge is 1600mm unlike anywhere in the world, the general standard being 1435mm also being the UK standard. There is some history how this came about, but the advantage in the end was even though most of the railways in Ireland being built by the British for strategical not commercial or transport reasons, UK trains could not run on Irish railways.

    That’s slightly improving on the history.

    The Irish gauge was decided by a Board of Trade compromise between the three gauges in use at the time.
    The railways were commercial, not strategic. Had they been strategic they would have had a standard gauge, and a lot more would have gone somewhere strategically useful. The nearest thing to a “strategic” decision was the NI Government ordering the Great Northern to pull up the tracks west of the Bann (in 1957). Bastards.
    Surely no Irish railway was consciously built to metric measurements. Irish engineers took the Irish gauge to Australia (that’s F.W.Shields, who had, I think, been Brunel’s assistant) and Brazil. In both places it still works very nicely, thank you.
    And a few miles of sea were the reason why “UK” trains did not run on Irish tracks, though the Dublin and Kingstown Railway was built in 1834 to the Stephenson standard gauge (and John Mulvaney’s Kingstown station is still one of the most elegant railway buildings I know).

    None of these aspects are relevant to the main thread, of course.

  • dewi

    Fascinating Malcolm. Firmly believe another golden age for train around corner.Fantastic feedback on HS1 so far.Think it will completely revolutionise perceptions of railways here.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Dewi – “Not sure myself but if the change from Left to Roght[right] is made it musat[must] be done gradually.”

    How do you propose to do it gradually?! Start your journey on the left hand side of the road and end up on the right?!

  • Cadiz

    I think aeroplanes & passports are already a must and the practical difference will be sentimental to some and of no practical consequence to a greater number.

    It will however, probably be harder for citizens of the RoI to get a prison place, I am sorry about that, but there is simply no room in the prison estate for them.

    Drunk & disorderly or giving a police officer a slap is probably not going to cut it.

    When this is coupled with the fact that Irish bars in N. London are offering free beer incentives so they can claim at least some association with the auld turf, ..

    it surely looks as if a popular British held stereotype has passed the verge of extinction and is alas, no more.

  • dewi

    I thought we could start with gaelic supporting areas first and then everyone else the next day. It was a joke by the way, not very funny I admit.

  • dewi

    Malcolm – by the way on page 369 of Ferriter. Not bad actually – like the evidence of people to that history commission the government set up. Don’t quite think I’ll understand unionists from this tome either however! But don’t recommend anything for a minute cos I got boer war stuff to read as well….

  • joeCanuck

    Dewi

    I’d suggest having an experiment.
    Have the trucks change over first, and if all goes well, then the cars.

  • dewi

    Yeah…. Or maybe bikes day 1, trucks day 2, cars day 3 ?

  • Am I alone in this, or is there a curious attitude by officialdom to my e-passes?

    In recent weeks:
    My passport didn’t read into the electronic scanner. “Get it replaced”. It’s still working with every other scanner it passes.
    My bank card regularly doesn’t register first time at one particular local store. “Get it replaced.” It works everywhere else.
    My London travel pass (“Oyster card”) didn’t open the barrier at one station. “Get it replaced.” It works everywhere else.

    Notice that in every case the burden of proof and error devolves upon the individual. Strange that.

    That was distantly related to the topic of this thread. The following isn’t.

    dewi @ 06:43 PM:
    the evidence of people to that history commission the government set up.

    If you’ve reached p369, you’re about to hit De Valera’s attempt to have Moody (of TCD) write an approved history of the Famine (that gets a mention on p377). The trouble was (and is) that the events of the 1840s didn’t and don’t quite fit the political myth. That’s always the trouble with “official” history in a “free” society, I’m afraid.

    I think I’ve used this one before, but here goes.

    About 1959-60, the Irish Government decided it needed a new dictionary of Irish. It recruited “researchers” to collect new words. The researchers were paid on piece-rate; as I recall, something like ten bob for twenty “discovered” words.

    A group of UCD students worked through [English] dictionaries and made a packet: hence the “Irish” dictionary was filled with useful hibernicisms like “sulfur”.

    I now wonder, in retrospect, if that’s where the good Ulster word “crack” got translated.

  • dewi

    You have to make new words for new phenomena- we have yrt academi gymreig who do that. No big wow. English have to do the same.

  • Trust No 0ne

    I did not know about this passport development until I saw UTV news at six o’clock today.

    I cross-checked the story on BBC teletext and it was saying that the measure only applied to citizens of the Republic of Ireland. I therefore rang the UTV Newsroom and put this version to them and advised them that it conflicted with the BBC version.

    I await with interest as to how the story unravels. There are a numbers of reasons for deep concern. First, the failure to enforce passport controls across what is, in international law, a border between two sovereign states – the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Doubtless, arguments will be advanced as to the practical difficulties of policing the land border, but this is, I suspect, a happily convenient Trojan Horse which will be used by the so-called “Rolls Royce” minds of the Foreign Office to further hollow out the Britishness of Northern Ireland. It could be designed in such a way as to render opposition to it as reactionary and provincial, but because British people in Northern Ireland are under a permanent state of siege from three directions – their own so-called Government in London, the hostile Government of the Republic and Irish Nationalists in Northern Ireland itself – they can be excused a degree of paranoia.

    If this story, as carried by UTV, is true, then I would like to know what will happen if I decide to fly from Belfast to London and turn up at the City Airport and refuse to comply with demands to produce a passport to travel to another part of the UK. How will a distinction be made between a UK citizen in Northern Ireland and an Irish citizen from the Republic of Ireland (other than passports)?

    According to UTV, the report was sourced from Europe. Will we be able to take the government to the European Court of Humans Rights for treating British residents in one part of the UK differently from other parts of the UK?

    Doubtless many of the reasons for this development are as they are stated (even if the pleadings of necessity have been on the lips of tyrants and slaves since time immemorial) but I have no doubt that the the government of the Republic is quietly pleased (as is London) that this measure just also happily, if enabled, helps to further isolate Northern Ireland like a patient in an MRSA ward prior to a visit to the morgue.

    If this is rampant paranoia, I plead guilty. Nothing the government in London has done in the last thirty eight years gives my any confidence that my future safety and nationality can or will be protected by it. It is implacably committed to salami-slicing me out of existence and everything it does must be seen in that light.

    It all comes down to trust – and I simply do not trust the Irish or a government at Westminster (to whom I pay taxes) that I cannot elect to or remove from office. In the final analysis I trust therefore only myself and that of course means living in an unhappy state of permanent tension and distrust which can lead only to one outcome – emigration. It’s inevitable.

  • dewi @ 08:30 PM:

    make new words

    That’s the point, isn’t it? English succeeds because it isn’t an “official” language, policed by an Academy of learned bods (like French). Anyone can, and does, mess with it, not just vocabulary, but syntax, grammar, the lot. Most of the nealogisms come from the young and their argot. By contrast, there’s a perfectly good word in (proper) Latin: mergus. Give Pliny or Cicero a puffin and they’d have said and written mergus. However, that wasn’t exclusive enough for Linnaean classification, so “puffinus” had to be imported/invented, from modern English.

    The dictionary to which I referred had little real utility because it was an abstract, a construct, irrelevant to the task for which it was intended. But it financed the student bars of Dublin nicely, thank you.

    You and I know that sulfur/sulphur, railway/railroad/iarnród are mainly signifiers. Did it make any real difference to most people when the buses started going to An Lár rather than the Pillar?

    On the other hand, it makes a heck of a difference if the destination is Derry, Doire or Londonderry.

    And a large proportion of Slugger comes down to just that difference.

  • Trust No 0ne @ 08:57 PM:

    I would like to know what will happen if I decide to fly from Belfast to London and turn up at the City Airport and refuse to comply with demands to produce a passport to travel to another part of the UK.

    Fair dos.

    But that won’t be an issue over your ability to travel within the UK. It will be a dispute between you and the carrier that you have failed to fulfil their requirement (which will be there in the garnet typeface on the back of your ticket) adequately to identify yourself to their satisfaction. And won’t the people behind you in the queue love you for it.

  • dewi

    Dunno Malcolm – but I know that hofrenydd (helicopter), hysbyseb (advert), cyfrifiadur (computer) work. What is your point?

  • dewi @ 09:17 PM:

    The words work, but in different ways. Consider the numerous synonyms there are for each of those words: some are formal, some are casual (“chopper”, “ad”, ” ‘puta”) and that’s without getting into the jokey or the tech-speak, which is the joy of English because it extends meaning exponentially.

    (Sudden extended deletion) No, no, I’m not getting into semiotics (meaning, signification, cognification…) at this time of night.

    Let me ‘reverse ferret’ into the original thread, which is about the possible need for passports/identity documents to travel between Ireland and … somewhere else. Now that doesn’t worry me because I recognise the need, in the modern world, particularly on an aircraft, to be identifiable and identified. The passport is about as convenient a way as possible of doing that. Others see it as having ulterior, additional levels of significance and meaning. As I said before, I just hope I’m not in the check-in queue behind them.

  • Dewi

    Malcolm – get lost – I got books to read – and u r trying to be clever ! semiotics !!! give me a break !

  • Dewi

    Mean Malcolm sorry – I’ll try and understand your posts tomorrow – Nos da.

  • hovetwo

    “But you don’t need a passport! Photo ID like a driver’s licence will do the job if you tell them you’ve come from the UK or Ireland. Sometimes “howerya” in the right accent has been known to suffice…….”

    “Indeed that would probably work for me with my bap face, paddy pink complexion and a Derry accent that could cut coul’ steel, not so sure my Asian wife could carry it off though.”

    Ah, takes me back to Dublin-London flights in the eighties, when the surefire way to be stopped at Heathrow was to have long hair and a leather jacket – or be black / Asian. Terrorists obviously didn’t wear suits.

  • hovetwo

    Breaking news in the Irish Times:

    Border security will not be tightened – Ahern

    The ending of the Common Travel Area between Ireland and Britain will not result in tighter Border controls between the Republic and Northern Ireland the Taoiseach said today.

    British authorities have no plans whatsoever to introduce any controls on the land border between North and South. I want to make that clear
    Taoiseach Bertie Ahern Mr Ahern said the current travel arrangements between the two countries is being “abused in a large way” and that British and Irish authorities were in communication about the development of an electronic border control system by 2009.

    Asked about the implications of this system for travel between the Republic and the North, Mr Ahern said: “British authorities have no plans whatsoever to introduce any controls on the land border between North and South. I want to make that clear.

    “All they are looking at is increased co-operation on cross-border co-operation, targeting illegal immigrants.”

    He told the Dail that the development of an e-border system was being led by the British Home Office, its Border Immigration Agency, the Police and Revenue and Customs.

    It would be designed to collect and analyse passenger information in advance of travel based on passport data.

    Mr Ahern said a person’s passport details would then be cross-checked with a number of “watchlists” complied of persons sought in relation to criminal investigations, illegal immigration and customs offences. There would also be a list of stolen and lost passports he said.

    Labour Party leader Eamonn Gilmore asked the Taoiseach why an external border was not being created around the Islands of Britain and Ireland.

    “Surely criminals are smart enough to know that if you travel through Belfast you won’t be caught. What’s the point of applying it only between the Island of Britain and the Republic of Ireland and not in Northern Ireland?”

    There has been concern raised in the North as well, with Independent unionist MEP Jim Allister urging British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to clarify the plans. Mr Allister claims the failure to have a passport check at the Irish border could undermine the immigration control policy.

    And he warned it could eventually lead to the UK Government forcing people in the North to travel with their passports when going to England, Scotland and Wales. This, he said, would be unacceptable and prejudicial to the British citizenship of people in Northern Ireland.

    “It is reported that tighter passport controls between Ireland and the UK will mean anyone travelling between Ireland and Britain from 2009 will have to carry a passport, but that these controls will not apply to the Republic’s border with Northern Ireland,” he wrote to Ms Smith.

    “If so, then how will the new controls be effective, since those present in the Republic of Ireland could simply enter through Northern Ireland, unless you anticipate the preposterous suggestion of imposing passport/control restrictions internally within the UK at the point where travellers enter GB?

    “I make it very clear to you that any attempt to restrict UK citizens in this part of the UK from freely travelling to another part of the UK and treating them as if they were citizens of the Republic of Ireland would be utterly unacceptable and incompatible with our rights and status as UK citizens.”

  • heck
  • Do I need to put on my tin foil hat before or after clicking that link, heck?

  • Cadiz

    “And, in view of the 100% of terrorist attacks worldwide, why am I just a bit happier that the (previously pretty useless) immigration and entry requirements to the UK are being beefed up?”

    I don’t really see it.

    The Brits are training up a legion of young Muslims. If they are not suitably unhappy with a lap-dancing club or brothel next door to their local Mosque, the H-Block effect is well underway in British prisons.

    It is quite fashionable to humiliate Muslim elders these days. Pig-petting excursions for school children etc. It is a total wind-up and revenge for the years of posterior-kissing forced upon minor Brit officials.

    Muslim terrorists viewing the USA as a destination could get whatever papers they needed in Canada by simply giving a cute hoor donation to a Minister.

    It was not only that easy, it would be silly of them not to do so. 4 or 5,000 dollars is hardly a sacrifice and the chances of being turned down would have been fairly slight.

    The donation being non-refundable in any event.

  • Cadiz

    “Surely criminals are smart enough to know that if you travel through Belfast you won’t be caught. What’s the point of applying it only between the Island of Britain and the Republic of Ireland and not in Northern Ireland?”

    Goggins will just deny the transit the same way Jane Kennedy did. So short of a big truck packed with ANFO being driven by some intrepid Al Qaeda operative with a good sense of direction, it won’t be an issue. Cross-border crime is fuel, t-shirts, fake perfume etc.

    The PSNI & An Garda Siochana are working for the designer labels.

    Basically, the voters do not care about being lied to because the organized crime issues are not really that important to where their heads are at. The economy, if truth be told, actually needs organized crime to prosper.

  • Harry Flashman

    **or be black / Asian. Terrorists obviously didn’t wear suits.**

    Ah yes, I remember all those black and Asian Irish terrorists back in the 1980’s, they were quite a threat.

  • Siphonophore

    Remember when Adams, McGuinness et al were under internal exile within the UK? Restricted to Northern Ireland and not permitted to travel to England, Scotland and Wales. The lack of unionist outcry at this treatment (of what they claim to be their fellow countrymen) set a dangerous precendent that is now coming home to roost.

    This is yet another signal to the blind that the UK is withdrawing from NI.

  • Siphonophore @ 09:30 AM:

    Here we go for another rewriting of history: when the myth and the actuality collide, always go for the myth.

    Far from any lack of unionist outcry, the further along the “unionist” spectrum, the louder the protest was. The argument against the Exclusion Orders was: if a body is not fit to walk the streets of London, why should that person be fit for Belfast or Derry?

    Meanwhile, the constitutionalists were arguing the futility of the exercise: for which, among others, see Tony Bunyan’s Statewatch website, and his 1970s book on Political Police in Britain. Where was Siphonophore when the rest of us were making those noises?

    As for the “signal to the blind that the UK is withdrawing from NI”, that was explicit in Section 3 of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. Any blindness was not east of the Irish Sea.

  • hotdogx

    I cant see the irish government allowing border checks to be reinstalled by the british on the border. The NDP is spending millions on roads in the north to help access to the north west of the country. Allowing border controls to be put back would lay waste to all this road network planning and expenditure.

    Harry,
    about the railways, I didn’t modify anything if you’ll read my post again. Everybody in ireland knows that many not all the lines were built for military/strategy reasons, have a look at iarnrod eireanns website. In many cases the separate companies who built the lines often didn’t get to choose the route of the railway, the sligo line, the galway clifden line and the list goes on. Railways in many cases were built in Ireland for the same reason Hitler built the motorways. It was Britain’s way of giving to the Irish while keeping control and getting what was wanted out of Ireland! Thats why the railways were often attacked.
    1600mm is the metric equivalent of the original imperial measure which was a trade off compromise between actually 3 gauges in use at the time. In imperial its 5FT 3 or something. Since imperial means nothing to most people now i put it in metric , it just happens that it equals an even 1600mm in metric. Spain also has a broad gauge of 1592mm i think. You are correct when you mention that Irish engineers used this gauge in Austrailia but i think the phased or are phasing it out to standardize their network unfortunately more history lost. In Brazil there are on or two lines that were originally built to this gauge but if you say they are still in use i believe you, don’t get offended!!

  • Dewi

    Sorry for abuse last night Malcolm – long words sometimes get me wound up.

    French isn’t as dogmatic as you imply. The arab subculture have invented a linguistic dialect called Verlan by which they change words by reversing consinants. “Les arabs” became “les beurs” and in a unique case of double verlan became “les rebus” Cafe is feca, Frere – reuf, mere – reum etc etc

    And they know how to run Railways.

    Terrible history of linguistic suppression however.

  • hotdogx

    Have you lived in France Dewi if yes where?
    The Arabs have invented their own language. They speak a mix of Arabic and French but it seems to be too highly developed to have just occurred recently. This probably comes from French/Arabic speaking north Africa. Sometimes i have difficulty understanding these people.

    Did you mean run or ruin railways? There pretty good at the auld graffiti and the bombings!

    A sign of the UK pulling out of NI its a possibility but i think its really the UK government recognizing the fact that ireland is one geographical unit and so is the
    UK so where better to police the border than on a natural one. Its just logical. Its also recognizing that the north of Ireland is quite definitely Ireland and not Britain. Proof as well that a British rule will never be able to rule any part of Ireland fairly with Irish interests at heart. I await the attacks from our unionist friends…….

  • Dewi

    Not lived in France no – but been there on holiday !

    Verlan however considered an urban French phenomenon.

    http://tinyurl.com/3ya3xo

    http://tinyurl.com/yrjqn9

    Little wonder it’s inexplicable. Point being though that Freanch has a dynamic not determined merely by L’Academie Francaise.

    TGV fantastic.

  • hotdogx

    TGV is class, ill be taking it next week to go to hamburg amazing. New TGV est is a new two story train capable of 580km/h with a standard cruse of 250 to 300km/h.
    Although i love taking the train in Ireland aswell the reopening of closed lines (sligo-galway-ennis) is happening but much too slowly for me. Would love to see SLNCR sligo enniskillen/derry reopen as it goes right by my house and the alignment is fully intact you can follow it all the way on google earth apart from a missing bridge over the river at enniskillen.

  • Dewi

    “you can follow it all the way on google earth apart from a missing bridge over the river at enniskillen.”

    Absolutely brilliant. I’ll try that tonight…..

  • heck

    trust no one

    “Will we be able to take the government to the European Court of Humans Rights for treating British residents in one part of the UK differently from other parts of the UK? ”

    kinda like having the 11+, non jury courts, ””’

    yea right

  • Harry Flashman

    *Far from any lack of unionist outcry, the further along the “unionist” spectrum, the louder the protest was.*

    That is certainly my recollection, Republicans didn’t object to the exclusion orders – why would they when they believed Great Britain to be a foreign state? – it was Unionists who were outraged that somehow the UK government wouldn’t allow “terrorists” on to the ‘mainland’ but were happy to let them remain in the part of the UK where 95% of the terrorism was being carried out.

    One thing I don’t recall Unionists being angry about however was Willie Whitelaw’s excuse for not using plastic bullets in Toxteth or Brixton during the riots of 1981, because they were “lethal weapons”. That was disgraceful especially coming from a former NI SoS who should have known better.

  • Reader

    Trust No One: Will we be able to take the government to the European Court of Humans Rights for treating British residents in one part of the UK differently from other parts of the UK?
    It’s not a Human Rights issue, it’s a Civil Rights issue. Set up NICRA again, and get John Hume out of retirement. None of the current generation of Nationalist politicians has any interest in civil rights for unionists.

  • hotdogx @ 01:24 PM:

    It’s barely eighteen months, I guess, since I took the Derry-Belfast train, a special trip in anticipation of the line’s closure. With minimal improvements, the usage of that line has doubled. Here we are anticipating (oh! please!) the restoration of the Sligo-Derry link (which is also in the 2006-2012 County Donegal Development Plan, I see). Incidentally, one of the motivations for the Ballyshannon/Bundoran spur was the commercial needs of the Belleek pottery: typical of how perfidious Albion planned “strategic” railways.

    I see there was a very recent discussion on politics.ie about the possibilities of rail links in the North-West: http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?p=878040&sid=81548fc66eb215daefe9e1f19563c215

    Have we all found the 1906 rail map of Ireland, to remind us of what used to be? If not, it’s at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Map_Rail_Ireland_Viceregal_Commission_1906.jpg

    First things first, though.

    As I understand, there is a serious block on further upgrading the Derry-Belfast line. Unless a new passing loop is built at Ballykelly (estimated cost about £10M), the capacity of the line is limited to one train in each direction: hence the timetabled intervals. There’s one immediate priority. Then something could be done about the track: a 30mph speed limit applies for most of the distance, I gather. (So much for wishful thinking about TGVs.)

    Surely even that priority, though, should be behind the restoration of the Knockmore line (with a loop to Aldergrove): we’ve already discussed that in previous threads.

    And — hey! — HS1 (14th November) with St Pancras half-a-dozen stops from my front door! Moules, frites with mayonnaisse … the Gare du Nord 2hrs and a bit … suddenly, the world’s my oxter.

  • Dewi

    Derry to Belfast in 2 and a half hours..73 miles …and I thought things were bad here. Cardiff Swansea 45m 57 chains in an hour seems like speeding. Nothing about that in those spending plans published today – just a Rapid Transit System for Greater Belfast.
    A TGV circle round the island with stops at Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Westport and Derry would be an absolute guaranteed success – help stimulate economic growth in the West also…
    Probably only cost about ten billion quid.

  • páid

    Trust No One,

    “Only the paranoid survive” – Andrew Grove, founder of Intel.

    I suspect this profoundly anti-Unionist measure has come about due to the workings of the British-Irish Council, which shows, I suppose, than one should be careful of what one wishes for.

    As for emigration, you may find yourself slowly but surely emigrating by staying exactly where you are.

  • Dewi @ 04:38 PM:

    First of all, thanks for the explanation [@ 11:41 AM of inversion: I’d long wondered on the usage “les beurs”. Verlan is a new one on me.

    Meanwhile, join me for all three verses (all that I know) of Flanders and Swann:
    No more will I go to Blandford Forum and Mortehoe.
    On the Slow Train from Midsomer Norton and Mumby Road.
    No churns, no porter, no cat on a seat
    At Chorlton-cum-Hardy or Chester-le-Street.
    We won’t be meeting again
    On the Slow Train.

    There’s that incredibly well-kept (and fashionably three-hours late) train in John Ford’s The Quiet Man. Now Iarnród Éireann are bringing new Class 22000 state-of-the-art DMU sets onto the Dublin-Sligo and other “Intercity” lines. On looks alone, they are gorgeous: grey, Harrod’s green with gold. IÉ has come a long, long way: credit where it’s due. EU and other money might do something for Translink — please!

    And let’s recall what Irish trains have added to the literature, and not just through Percy French (who is memorialised in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, County Down, and quite rightly so).

    I know nothing better than that marvellous piece by Flann O’Brien, A Bash in the Tunnel, just how Joycean criticism should be written (and on line at http://www.centerforbookculture.org/context/no4/obrien.html ). Forgive me for repeating myself on that one.

    All this has reminded me, for the first time in forty years, of a description (from an elderly CofI cleric) of a train journey from Dublin to Cork in “The Emergency”. There were long hours of serial delays as the engine restocked with peat (some collected directly from the bog) and water (ditto). He was sharing a compartment with the writer and poet, Monk Gibbon, who never stopped a monologue the whole time.

    What a rubbish post: forgive the irrelevant blather.

  • dewi

    Malcolm – once spent a wonderful five and a half hours on the train from Harlech to Cardiff. Amused ourselves by naming films with some connection with train.
    We all know “Brief Encounter” of course so when my boss said “Close Encounters” the only possible repost was “Close Encounters? That’s a spaceship you idiot!” Whole carriage collapsed and laughed till we got to Shrewsbury…. And then…

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Talking of trains and songs of trains, nostalgia et al, Percy French springs to mind and his ditty ‘Are Ye Right There Michael.’ Great Southern & Western Railways (I think) were very knarked about it too and it’s subject matter of delayed choo choo’s.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín @ 09:06 AM:

    At last, this thread has turned to something really important!

    French studied engineering at TCD, and spent rather more time in the music-halls than the lecture theatre. Eventually he took his degree and went to work for the Midland Railway. Later he became the drains-inspector for the County Cavan: I seem to spend an unhealthy amount of my recent life writing about inspectors of drains (“Captain” WE Johns of “Biggles” fame was in the same trade, in Norfolk). It was while French was nosying down Cavan sewers he wrote the Mountains of Mourne, and his career took off.

    The precise incident that to which Gréagóir refers took place in the summer of 1896. French was to give a performance at Kilkeel, but the West Clare Railway failed to get him there in time (explanation: “weeds in the boiler”). He sued for loss of earnings, and was awarded £10 in compensation. The song came out a few years later (wikipedia reckon 1897, but I’ve seen 1902).

    The Railway appealed the judgment (and seem to have have counter-sued for libel). The legend has it that French arrived late for the hearing, and was taken to task by the judge. French gave his apologies with the excuse he had travelled by the West Clare Railway. Various accounts have “case dismissed” and an award of one penny damages. I cannot find a totally reliable source for this part of the story (but see last sentence of this posting); and suspect strongly that French himself improved on the facts considerably.

    There is an update of “Michael” on a CD of Sligo songs (by the local Sound Music label): the Sligo Railway Song.

    For many years there was a locomotive, the Slieve Callan on a plinth at Ennis railway station: this was the “Percy French memorial”. I gather that Slieve Callan is now being/has now been restored and will feature at the West Clare Railway (all couple of miles of it) at the old Moyasta station. Whereupon I discover http://www.westclarerailway.ie/stories2.html which gives a comprehensive transcript of the French/West Clare Railway case.

  • hotdogx

    We should have a thread on railways, eh mick?

  • dewi

    Sarkozy announced 3000 miles of high speed railways to be built in next 23 Years yesterday.