Identity crisis, as Sammy worries unionists could be treated like Irish by London…

ALL this talk of a strengthened e-border has the DUP’s Sammy Wilson worried that people from Northern Ireland could be treated like foreigners when they visit Great Britain. While anyone who’s ever taken a budget flight to London from Belfast has probably used their passport as ID, and even though it’s arguable that unionists suddenly become ‘paddies’ when they visit the ‘mainland’ anyway, Sammy has managed to get Harriet Harman to bring the issue up with the NI Secretary. We’ll see what transpires. Meanwhile, the company that won the £650m e-border contract from the Government has a facility next door to our own special border Raytheon. Could a Derry software centre end up hacking unionist ID out of the UK?! 😮

  • Harry Flashman

    This whole e-borders thing (whatever location they decide to locate the checkpoints whether Aughnacloy or Stranraer) is nothing more than another power grab by this surveillance junky government on top of the CCTV’s, DNA registry, ID cards etc.

    Travellers to and from the UK are going to have to provide 53 seperate pieces of information 24 hours before they will be allowed to travel, police and immigration authorities will have access to this info, it is actually proposed that anyone with unpaid speeding fines could actually be banned from leaving the country!

    My suggestion is to get out now while the going is good, the country is rapidly turning into a police state.

    “Halt! Your papers please” (well “please” if we’re lucky I suppose).

  • Aaron

    Travellers from NI to GB have been treated like foreigners for many, many years now – wtih special disembarkation procedures and requirements that people landing from GB airports don’t face.

    Additionally, we are now seeing demands for ID on arriving at Belfast airports from GB.

    Sammy’s too late.

  • Dawkins

    Sammy, is you still on holiday here?

  • Nevin

    Easyjet: “The airline requires all passengers to provide photographic ID at check-in on all flights including domestic services. Passengers who use the online check-in service will be required to provide photographic ID at the security gate and again at the boarding gate.

    Please note: Passengers, other than British or Irish nationals, travelling between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, are required to produce a valid passport and any associated relevant travel documentation.”

  • Ahem

    As Nevin rightly points out, try flying anywhere inside either the UK (ie NI included), or inside the Republic without state-validated ID, whether driver’s licence or passport. Sammy, as ever, is being the good ole Paisleyite – inventing phantoms to scare all the chicken lickens. Watch and wait: this monstrous (ie non-existant) plot will soon be ‘eliminated’ (ie the government will put out some statement putting the DUP’s absurd fanatasies to rest) and lo, the DUP will claim this as a great achievemnt.

    On another note entirely, over the last week or so, since getting back from New York (where, incidentally, the Americans I was flying around with 9 times out 10 used their passports for internal flights . . .), I’ve tried to access Slugger to rejoin the fray on various threads and the site has been inaccessible. Are you being attacked? There’s a quote from Mick on some helpsite clearly indicating that he thinks you have been. Why the silence therefore? Who’s attacking you? Any thoughts on why?

  • Rory

    Those who suffered the indignities, stops and searches, arrests, home invasions, and held-for questionings in England, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), in the 70’s and 80’s may be forgiven, Harry, for thinking that a police state arrived some time ago.

    But at least we were more fortunate than the Guldford 4, the Birmingham 6, Gieuseppe Conlon, the Maguire Family, and Judith Ward among others who had experience of the worst excesses of a police state where police, judiciary, press and politicians jointly work in a harmony of lies, corruption and co-ercion, breaking innocents along the way.

  • nmc

    Where’s the anti-Raytheon crowd today. They should be on telling us how they’ll be manufacturing nukes at customs now.

  • lib2016

    First they came for the republicans……!

    I do recall certain unionists, including the Big Man himself, speaking out about internment. He got that right.

    On the other hand I also remember being trapped in a roomful of unionists howling with laughter at the thought of the British Army torturing the detainees.

  • Ahem

    “At least we were more fortunate than the Guldford 4, the Birmingham 6, Gieuseppe Conlon, the Maguire Family, and Judith Ward among others who had experience of the worst excesses of a police state” – yep, of all the people who suffered during the Troubles, you’ve really quite astonishingly managed to round up all those who suffered most. Imagine, being falsely convicted, then sent to prison, then cleared. What could possibly be worse? And don’t listen to anyone who laughs at you for your brave exposure of the ‘police state’ – when they accuse you of hyperbole, self-pity and pig-ignorance of the rest of the world (where there actually were and are police states), that’s just their way of saying They Can’t Handle The Truth!

  • lib2016

    Ahern,

    Thank-you for making my point.

  • Ahem

    If I was making your single transferrable point it would be, ‘Unionists know the game is up . . . they’re struggling to come to turns with the fact that the Union is already over . . . Unionists aren’t British . . . the Union is finished . . . why can nobody but me see the reality I want to see?’. And repeat.

  • lib2016

    Ahem,

    You’re wrong. I believe that the UUP and their supporters still can’t accept what is already happening all around them. It’s not their integrity but their intelligence which I doubt.

    As for the DUP? They have accepted reality and done a deal. Quite right, too.

  • Ahem

    And repeated.

  • Nevin

    But what about the IoM?

    IoM, EU and Protocol 3

  • republicanstones

    well the simple fact remains people in the north of ireland wether nationalist or unionist are both officially and technically not british. here’s a clue, whats the full name of the UK. the british govt and monarchy have been trying to tell these irishmen in denial for years they don’t view them as british. oh and just cause you have a british passport means sweet FA. some nepaleze gurkhas and salman rushdie carry them, so arent they british?
    the games up lads, there’s orange in the tricolor but no green in the union jack !

  • Dawkins

    Republicanstones,

    “the games up lads, there’s orange in the tricolor but no green in the union jack !”

    That’s where you’re mistaken, mate. The Union Jack is overwhelmingly green! :0)

  • cut the bull

    Well I think Sammy may be feeling the pinch of reality.

    Every one in this state Unionist/Loyalist/Republican/Nationalist is looked on as a mere subject by the british government.

    As something left over in the aftermath of empire building.

  • Rory

    “…well the simple fact remains people in the north of ireland wether nationalist or unionist are both officially and technically not british. here’s a clue, whats the full name of the UK

    Right on, Republicanstones. It was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. That was the united kingdoms of England and Scotland united with the separate kingdom of Ireland. Now it is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. (My emphasis).Not that there is a kingdom of “Northern Ireland”. It remains what it always has been – a temporary inconvenience, growing steadily more inconvenient.

    And as those stalwart Ulster Unionists discover when they come to the motherland capital not only do Londoners simply see them as Paddies, they see them as rather foreign, strange, outlandish in a way that they no longer see the southern Irish or more easy going and urbane Northern nationalist. They will never be “British” no matter how hard they insist – the British don’t want them, don’t like them and wish they would just go away.

    As those great British icons of Ulster loyalism, the Kray twins, might have put it, “Cruel, but fair”.

  • páid

    Rory,

    point is THEY see themselves as British, no matter what others think.

    And let’s face it, culturally most ARE British to a greater or lesser degree.

    As, in fact, are the great hordes of avid Corrie-lovin’ Posh Spice-watchin’ vodka’n’red bull guzzlin’ Oirish types south of the Border. Take away singing Olé Olé Olé whilst watching the Republic of Oirelin and what have you got?

    “Are you British in disguise?” Indeed.

    As I have pointed out before travellers from GB to NI will have to show passports (millions expected to protest in Stranraer) just as travellers from NI to GB.

    So in fact NI citizens are being treated exactly the same as GB citizens. It’s just that some have a psychological terror of being reminded that they live on a separate island. Dear me.

    Perhaps counselling could be arranged.

  • kensei

    “As, in fact, are the great hordes of avid Corrie-lovin’ Posh Spice-watchin’ vodka’n’red bull guzzlin’ Oirish types south of the Border. Take away singing Olé Olé Olé whilst watching the Republic of Oirelin and what have you got?”

    Independent government and some completely different attitudes on a range of issues?

  • Turgon

    Rory,
    “Londoners simply see them as Paddies, they see them as rather foreign, strange, outlandish in a way that they no longer see the southern Irish or more easy going and urbane Northern nationalist. ”

    So all unionists (? Prods) are “strange and outlandish” whilst all southern irish and Northern nationalists are easy going and urbane. What total nonsense and racist nonsense as well. Unionists can no more be categorised and stereotyped than any other group. You are clearly not very up on this unionist engagement stuff are you (whatever did happen to it anyway?)

    I have travelled to and worked in the South of England (I lived there for a year). People tended to accept me for what I was and allowed me to describe myself as I chose. They got on with liking me or disliking me as they saw fit. There is no more one stereotypical reaction of the English to unionists than there is any other stereotype.

    Incidentally I never liked the way people flying to and from Northern Ireland got treated in the past at airports. In my experience it was never a big problem at Heathrow but at some of the proveniencal airports. I also never understood why they showed little interest when you were coming into the airport but asked questions when you were flying home. Seemed wrong way round to me. Also at Stranrer my parents’ and later my car was never stopped (few were) yet presumably you could carry quite a big bomb on a car but not onto a plane.

    Recently things seem to have totally changed. I was catching a plane home at an airport a few weeks ago. There was a police officer looking at passports etc. He stopped a young Asian looking man infront of me and asked him lots of questions. Then I showed him my Northern Ireland drivers licence and he smiled in a kind of “You are alright but that other bloke was a bit suspicious” kind of way. I was a bit disgusted to be honest but decided not to cause a fuss and just got on the plane. The times they have a changed (at least for the moment).

    I still like the fact that we used to be able to fly or travel in any way we wanted in the UK and Ireland without any need to have any identification at all. I suspect those days will never return though that was of course the case throughout the troubles.

  • The Dubliner

    páid, people are the same wherever you go, but they all feel different and that’s the difference.

    Is an Englishman Irish when he drinks a can of Guinness watching Father Ted while his wife sips Baileys?

  • The Dubliner

    “I have travelled to and worked in the South of England (I lived there for a year). People tended to accept me for what I was and allowed me to describe myself as I chose. They got on with liking me or disliking me as they saw fit. There is no more one stereotypical reaction of the English to unionists than there is any other stereotype.” – Turgon

    There are always exceptions, but I’ve never been treated with anything other than courtesy any time I’ve been in England. And having discussed this many times over the years with others who have much experience of the English, not one has told of experiencing any unpleasanteness, whatsoever. That works in reverse, too – Ireland is a huge tourist draw for the British. I’ve never observed an English person in Ireland being treated with anything other than courtesy, either.

  • RepublicanStones

    simple fact remains, people from the north are not british. this is a basic fact unionists cannot seem to grasp. but this is to be expected from a people who as one academic called them are remnants of a colonial past.

  • Dawkins

    The Dubliner.

    I can personally vouch for your last line!

  • Turgon

    RepublicanStones,
    “simple fact remains, people from the north are not british”

    The simple fact remains that the unionist population largely regard themselves as British. Why do yo have a problem with people self defining as they wish? Are we suffering from false consiousness? I in no way wish to prevent, dismiss or call into question your right to self define as Irish. Why can you not extend the same courtsey to me?

    What would you rather I be, Irish? I do not feel Irish, I do not hate the Irish or Irishness I just do not feel Irish, I feel British. Does this threaten you? Why do you care how I self define, it does you no harm does it?

    In terms of what one academic said I have heard many academics say many things some sensible some remarkably ill informed and daft. James Watson’s recent much publicised views on race and intellegence spring to mind. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article2630748.ece

    Being an academic shows you have some training and qualifications it still means you can talk nonsense; as indeed are your suggestions on this issue.

  • RepublicanStones

    you are from the north of Ireland but you in no way feel irish. yet you feel british and yet do not live in britain. have i got that right, is that about the height of it?
    people can feel what they want, what they cannot do however is change facts.

  • slug

    “try flying anywhere inside either the UK (ie NI included), or inside the Republic without state-validated ID, whether driver’s licence or passport.”

    I do it all the time, I use my employer card which has photo on it.

  • Turgon

    How does my self identification harm you?
    Since the British and Irish governements seem quite content to allow me to self define as British why is there a problem here?

    Whether or not Northern Ireland is technically part of Britain is irrelevant to the issue. It is part of the soverign territory of the UK and is British. Even that is actually irrelevant.

    If you lived in say France would you have to cease to be Irish? What nationality are the children born to Irish people living abroad? What nationality are the children of Irish diplomats born whilst their parents are abroad?

  • Dawkins

    I’m a Ninglishman who’s lived in NI for fifteen years. I’m still British and will never be Irish, even though my Limey friends tell me I speak with a slight Ulster accent now — eeeeeeeeek!

    But… to me, all those born and living in this island are Irish. My family, friends and I would never think of them as British. Yes, those in this part of the island share a flag with Britain and their reps attend the same parliament in London, but the similarities truly end there.

    However, do rejoice in your “otherness”. How boring life would be if we were all of the same nation and culture.

  • RepublicanStones

    where did i say your identity was harming me? i am merely pointing out basic facts. are you suggesting britishness is a nationality, like irish or french? here is me thinking britain was made up from 3 nations. again the north of ireland is not british. you don’t seem to be grasping basic facts here. you can claim all you want to be british, but what you cannot tag on is trying to claim even one acre of irish soil is also british. because basic fact as well as the british govt would seem to disagree with you.

  • Turgon

    RepublicanStones,
    I never made any comment about one acre of Irish soil (where did you get that one from; has a good nineteenth century ring to it).

    Britishness is a nationality. I am living in Northern Ireland, my nationality is British. British nationality is of course complex as it often (but not always) involves a compound nationality being British and either English, Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish. Compound nationalities are of course extremely common. Just like one can be American and also from say California. Such a person is both Californian and American. It is quite simple really.

    Since Britishness (or indeed any other nationality) is not simply about where one is living, I will ask again. What nationality is a person born and raised in Ireland who has moved to France? What nationality is a child born to two Irish parents living in France at the time of the child’s birth?

  • Niall Gormley

    Does anybody know if the nationality of people from the UK is officially British? It’s certainly can’t be inferred from the name of the state. Nobody calls themselves UnitedKingdomish! Even the long title seems to say that the people are Great British and Northern Irish.

    Also if there is somewhere a declaration or statue or law that the people of the UK are British, has this not been modified by the GFA which allows NI people to be British or Irish or both (but stangely not ‘neither’)

    Turgon, as a republican I accept that you are British, but I don’t accept that you are not Irish, or at least, Northern Irish. I met lots of second-generation Irish from London who only define themselves as Irish, which is grand, but I think they are also English. They are trying to escape logic and I think you are too.

  • Turgon

    Niall Gormley,
    Now stop being reasonable. Attitudes like that might make some unionists take unionist engagement seriously.

    In all seriousness I do not reject being Irish, I just do not feel it. I would be quite content if one day my children regarded themselves as Irish as well as Northern Irish and British. Indeed it obviously for them what they wish to be.

    I know it is unfair but I do think that many unionists of my generation do not see themselves as Irish in large measure because for all our childhood and early adulthood there was an apparent dichotomy between being Irish and British. This dichotomy was, I submit, not entirely but to a considerable extent due to the IRA campaign of violence. If people are killing your community to in some way make them become Irish it is pratically guarenteed that they will not feel Irish. It is interesting that Paisley seems to feel in some way Irish and of course he was brought up long before the troubles. I can intellectually accept that this is a false dichotomy but in all honesty I still do not feel Irish.

    As I say stop being reasonable, it has the bad effect of making me less bigoted and that would never do for the one who has been proclaimed (By others) as one of the leading prodiban on this site.

  • RepublicanStones

    hold the phone, hang on, i must have missed that….i had no idea govenor schwarznegger had declared independence from the rest of the usa, it’s news to me that california is a nation. oh and in answer to your questions, Irish. although im not sure about france’s policy on newborns, they may give them citzenship and a passport. doesn’t make them french though. and the IRA’s campaign wasn’t to force you to be irish, as you already are. the campaign started in defence of nationalists from your community. and then developed into ending the occupation. i don’t recall hearing anywhere in the green book about forcing our fellow irishman to admit as much.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Whether or not Northern Ireland is technically part of Britain is irrelevant to the issue. It is part of the soverign territory of the UK and is British’ – Turgon

    ‘I never made any comment about one acre of Irish soil (where did you get that one from; has a good nineteenth century ring to it)’. – Turgon

    gettin a bit confused there mo chara. either you think the north of ireland isn’t irish soil, or your all mixed up. the latter me thinks.

  • Turgon

    RepublicanStones,
    The point being that I make no claim on “Irish soil” whatever that is. Can soil feel it is Irish or British. I have heard of anthrophormism but this is getting a little silly. Soilomophism maybe?

    So the IRA’s campaign was to defend nationalists from my community. I wondered when that would start. I guess Douglas Derring was hurting the nationalist community was he? What about Marie Wilson? How about those killed at Kingsmills or Darkley?

    Tell me RepublicanStones, how were they hurting nationalists. Oh yes the IRA were ending occupation. Those murdered were occupying your hallowed soil, that is the bottom line is not it. Well we have not left you know although those murderers you so enthuastically cheerlead for have resulted in putting our kith and kin in the soil.

    When people like you start with comments about the IRA like that you can hardly be surprised that many in my community want no part of Irishness. You and those you cheerlead for disgrace the name of the Irish. Fortunately I do not hold all the Irish responsible for these sorts of comments; just the individuals who make them.

  • Niall Gormley

    Turgon,

    As I say, I am a republican and would have been a Sinn Fein voter during the Troubles. Intellectually, I saw a difference between the UK claim to a part of Ireland and the unionist claim. I don’t accept that the UK has a entitlement to part of Ireland but I do accept that the unionist people have a right to self-determination.

    Interestingly, the British don’t accept this and for good practical reasons. They have committed themselves only to self-determination limited to two outcomes – United Kingdom or united Ireland. No independence is allowed.

    But, as you indicate, it was always going to be impossible for armed struggle to be directed against the British state without directing it against the unionist people. Therefore, the campaign was not in the historic interests of republicanism.

    So if we, as republicans, learn that vital lesson, what is in the interest of republicanism is to take unionism seriously and to accept the unionist people for what they say they are, rather than what we want them to be. No Ireland can be created without the unionist people being an intrinsic part of it. Everything must be progressed by agreement and compromise.

    A simple example would be that a new Ireland would have to have a new flag. I like the Tricolour but unionists don’t have ownership of it. Therefore the tricolour cannot be the flag of an inclusive Ireland. I argued this with other republicans and they went ballistic but I don’t see any other way of building a shared future. In South Africa, the ANC didn’t insist that their flag became the flag of the new state.

    By this logic, I have given up on the concept of a unitary state. I don’t think that independence and unity are mutually necessary. I am now a confederate in these matters. I favour an independent Confederation of Ireland made up of two equal states with a loose central government. I would see that the Queen would continue to be the northern head of state and so on.

    You will undoubtedly point out that I’m leaving out the Union in my recognition of unionists. That’s somewhat true. But that’s because I see the Ulster British as a people apart, not only from the rest of us in Ireland but also from the ‘British’ British. At some point in the future, when they have nothing to fear from us, they might well conclude that it is in their interest to do a deal with the people they share this space with. Such a decision wouldn’t make them less British because, as you point out, their Britishness resides within them, not in Britain. And, also, because if a new Ireland can’t be partly British then it’s not a new Ireland.

    No pressure, no force, no asking unionists to give up more than nationalists, no pre-determinined Ireland. We start from scratch and everyone gets to add a block.

  • RepublicanStones

    again screaming at facts turgon. sure bombay st never happened, paisley never whipped up sectarian hatred for no reason, gerrymandering never happened, sure the whole plantation thing was a dream too.
    tell me if your community was not at fault, why did they taunt nationalists in the 60s with the I Ran Away slogan regarding the absence of the IRA to defend nationalist communities??? unionists like to condemn ira violence then like to stick their head in the sand regarding the fact that it was their actions and the unionist establishmnet which led to the provisionals coming about. also tell me if republicans are the bad guys, why is it the irish cause for freedom has a level of international support worldwide than your unionist one can only dream of? maybe it’s because nobody cheers for the schoolyard bully in a fight !

  • Turgon

    RepublicanStones,
    Have you ever read any of my comments on loyalist terrorism? I oppose and despise it. I oppose what happened at Bombay street, I oppose gerrymandering, I think Paisley was often foolish. By the way I was born in 1971 so I personally did not do any of these things. And the plantation. Well yes, I took my parent’s bit of South Londonderry (it would have been South County Coleraine at the time) personally in 1620.

    Tell me, how does any of the whataboutery from you justify my father in law’s friend being shot in his grocery shop or my wife’s school mate being blown up whilst at a Rememberance commeration? or my wife’s cousin being made a widow before she even got up the aisle?

    You are cheerleading for a bunch of sectarian murderers. The irony which is totally lost on you is that your friends are one of the major raesons why many unionists will never been accepting of a united Ireland.

  • RepublicanStones

    turgon to be honest i couldn’t care less about what happened to you, because the prevailing attitude i get from your community is much the same combined with a belief in their moral superiority over the native green irish. you can list tradigies all day, facts remain facts. unionists are a relic of britains colonial past as evidenced by the fact the british govt is on record as saying they have no wish to remain in the north, economic or military or otherwise. it just seems to be the descedndants of the failed laboratory of britians colonial endeavours who wish britain to maintain it’s occupation. and its acknowledged fact that loyalism was sectarian in a manner republicans could never even dream of being. so again, you seem to be sticking your head in the sand on that one. answer the question, why do you think the irish cause for freedom has a level of support worldwide unionism can only dream of?

  • Suilven

    ‘the irish cause for freedom has a level of support worldwide unionism can only dream of?’

    Bwahhahah! Where? The jungles of Colombia? Gaza City? The back alleys of San Sebastian? Remember, it’s not so long ago that Gerry & co couldn’t even get a visa for the US. That’s how much worldwide support your ’cause for freedom’ has.

  • RepublicanStones

    ok so george bush denies gerry a visa and he spaeaks for the whole of america???????
    and to laugh at facts is really rather sad. are you actually ignorant of the fact that we have infintely more support worldwide than unionism. do you even get out, do you even read, or are you just an internet stalker, brought up to hate the evil fenians who are so bad because they wont lie down and accept they are second class citizens.
    so tell me what great loyalist heroes have streets named after them in cities round the world, tell me about the great unionist heroes who had parliaments round the world offer a minutes silence in their memory. im sure your old enough to remember the international reaction to Bobby Sands death. its quite easy to understand why unionism has sweet FA support internationally, bar the whites in south africa, some Oooolster-scots in southern USA and not forgetting zionists (notice how they’re all colonizers) because nobody cheers for the bad guy, nobody cheers for the schoolyard bully in a fight. Turgon, it takes alot to admit your from a community who committed many wrongs on a people who didn’t pick the fight, but your obviously not mature enough for that yet.

  • RepublicanStones

    suilven, laugh at facts all you want, i probably would to if i was a relic of britains colonial past.

  • Brian Boru

    I think this illustrates the Unionist fixation with symbolism over practical benefits.

  • McGrath

    This thread had a little bit of wit at one stage.

  • Suilven

    RepublicanStones @ 12:34 AM

    A finer example of MOPEry I have never seen. Keep chucking those stones for all the good it’ll do you!

  • Cahal

    Ahem
    “where, incidentally, the Americans I was flying around with 9 times out 10 used their passports for internal flights . . .), ”

    I have never seen a yank use a passport for an internal flight. Otherwise there’d be a lot less of them flying given how few of them actually hold passports.

    State issued ID or driver’s license 99% of the time. The vast majority of non-res aliens use state IDs also.

    As for the matter at hand. Needing a passport to travel between the north and the UK….drip drip drip….

  • Billy

    Suilven

    “That’s how much worldwide support your ‘cause for freedom’ has”

    Having lived in the US and various other contries around the world during my career, RepublicanStones is right about 1 thing.

    Irish Nationalism is a much more well known and supported cause around the world than Unionism is.

    If you want to live in denial, that’s your problem.

    However, I’d be interested to see if you can provide any evidence of major world wide support for Unionism.

    Even the UK govt aren’t really Unionists – for years now they have been happy to give the RoI increasing finanacial + political influence as NI as they gradually disengage.