“That tends to involve arriving at the Vatican in a car bedecked with a Union Jack..”

The BBC’s NI political editor, Mark Devenport notes an intriguing rumour on his blog, apparently there is some discussion about whether the NI deputy First Minister or the NI Secretary of State should represent Northern Ireland when Archbishop Sean Brady receives his Cardinal’s red hat from Pope Benedict XVI – “Needless to say Ian Paisley is otherwise engaged.” Presumably the dilemma is a result of an Irish government representative also being in attendance. ANYhoo.. Mark notes

Apparently the Deputy First [Minister] is keen to make the acquaintance of Pope Benedict XVI. But his best hope of getting to the Pope is as the BRITISH representative at the occasion. That tends to involve arriving at the Vatican in a car bedecked with a Union Jack.

My spies tell me taking a taxi is not de rigueur. If anyone spots a Stormont Skoda boarding a ferry in the coming days, it might be Martin working on an alternative solution to his papal/union flag dilemma.

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  • Dawkins

    “Bedecked” with a Union Jack? How could the DFM see out of the windows? :0)

    Shurely “flying the Union Jack”.

  • Ulsterexile

    i Bet its enough to straighten his curly ginger mop

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    What about just having the NI flag?

  • PeaceandJustice

    The whole Sinn Fein IRA approach is a big joke. They are ministers in a British assembly – yet pretend it’s not British. They live in Northern Ireland yet will not utter the words Northern Ireland – unless they’re taking the oath to sign up for the big money.

    When the Bogside Butcher gets his cheque for being DFM in British Pounds it doesn’t concern him. So why would the Union flag (the flag of his country) on an official car worry him?

    They need to stop their childish behaviour and prepare their voters for the truth. Pretending not to see or hear the reality doesn’t make it change.

  • lib2016

    The idea of one of themmuns in a ministerial car really hurts. Dammit he’ll be wanting a horse worth more than £5.00 next. 😉

  • PeaceandJustice

    Gréagóir O’ Frainclín – “What about just having the NI flag?”

    As a home nation of the UK, it could also be a solution. The other home nations of the UK often use their flags on official occasions along with the Union flag. It would show some political maturity if the DFM starting using the NI and/or Union flags on official business.

  • Gréagóir, in about 10 minutes or less you’ll have a string of folk telling you Northern Ireland doesn’t have a flag. I get the impression our DFM would be of the same opinion.

  • The Truth

    The 6 northeastern counties are Irish, and this silly made up statelet needs to start enbracing the Irish flag, to represent these Irish counties. And lets leave the british flag to Britain for God’s sake. Have ye people any dignity. Why must ye be born Irishmen but wish to die englishmen. Very sad indeed.

  • Cormac

    The Ulster flag* with an asterisk?

    *not including Donegal, Cavan or Monaghan

    🙂

  • Nevin

    Surely, Comical Marty will be representing the legitimate government of Ireland 😉

  • Ahem

    Last post of the day, as it’s set to be a three bottler (pp) of a lunch: am I the only one who still doesn’t quite get the attitude of the Catholic church to Marty McG, and friends? Martin: heap bad man, done heap bad things, broken basic tenets of the Catholic church (including, y’know, really quite big ones, like the whole, ‘don’t murder people, please‘, one) many, many times. So what’s the deal with him being any sort of honoured guest? Seriously, what am I missing here? Forgiveness plainly can’t be coming into it as Martin, as he’s repeatedly said, doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong.

  • Cormac

    Ahem: Or the CC’s attitude to Tony Blair, responsible (arguably) for more deaths than MMcG in Iraq, Afghanistan?

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    The whole bloody thing is a mass of contradictions.

  • republicanstones

    why should he fly that butcher’s apron(union jack) and as an irishman living in the occupied part of Ireland, the tricolor is my flag. i don’t see any green in the union jack or the fake flag of ulster, but there is orange in irelands flag. funny that innit? suppose its got something to do with unionisms belief in their superiority over the native green irish !

  • republicanstones/troll1916

    You suppose far too much. And you’re going to be late back to class.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    I’m sure Unionists who are not Orangemen could identify with the colour Green. Tis the colour of the NI soccer jersey too.

  • RepublicanStones

    beano, great comeback. well put and lucid argumet there. how can i ever show my face here again. oh and if i am still in school at my age, i must be a loyalist !

  • Gaelach

    Ballymena Co Antrim is an Irish as Ballyinasloe Co Galway. Theerefore the Tricolour will always suffice.

  • Dawkins

    But the Union Jack is prettier :0)

  • Tochais Síoraí

    I wish Flann O Brien was around for this.

  • Dawkins

    LOL!

    Is crossposting allowed? This is from another thread:

    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 if overwhelmingly green! :0)

    Posted by Dawkins on Nov 20, 2007 @ 03:11 PM

    Never let it be said that important issues like flags and emblems are ignored on Slugger O’Toole.

  • Ulsterexile

    Isnt it great to see, that in these times of supposed peace, we can sill all get riled by a piece of cloth.
    Like it or lothe it NI is still british (for the time being. As the ulster flag, supposedly, has no official capacity, it looks like dear old Martin should go under the rightful flag of the country thats paying his fat salary so role out thr Red white and Blue for martins trip to see Papa, and well have a troop of flying pigs doing a fly past (Red Arrows style….with red white and blue smoke).

  • Dev

    suppose its got something to do with unionisms belief in their superiority over the native green irish !

    Posted by republicanstones on Nov 20, 2007 @ 01:42 PM

    I was born in Ireland, as were my parents, and their parents, an so on for a very long time back through history. I hold an Irish passport, when people ask my where I’m from I say Ireland.

    But now you are telling me that because of my pasty, pinkish coloured skin I cannot be a native irishman, that this right is only reserved to those fortunate to be born with green skin! Outrageous!!

  • The Truth

    Don’t be ridiculous, Ireland is Ireland, and Britain is Britain and all the sucking up to your foreign betters is only lowering you as a people.

  • deezelbeezel

    Such intelligent statments from the truth…..obviously a very lerned contributor….bet he/she is a yank

  • USA

    This is all a bunch of hot air with some people not able to see the big picture. A lot like the IFA supporters on the recent FIFA threads. Quite simply, MMcG is Irish (see GFA), there is no way he will ever go to see the Pope in a car flying the British Flag.
    End of.
    It seems the press over there were making a big deal that MMcG “snubbed” some royal visitor recently. Are they making the same noise about Paisley not going to this Papal event?
    Surely it is obvious that one of the benefits of this “dual leadership” idea is that when one person is “unavailable” then the other can step in. Its a no news item.

  • PeaceandJustice

    USA – “Quite simply, MMcG is Irish (see GFA), there is no way he will ever go to see the Pope in a car flying the British Flag.”

    He was born in Northern Ireland, UK – British soil. He is DFM of the Northern Ireland Assembly – a British assembly. Whatever nationality he feels himself to be or has chosen to take, he should grow up and accept the facts.

    It’s like a kids game. Don’t say the word Northern; pretend to live in a different country; pretend we have a different flag.

    While the Bogside Butcher might want to see the Pope, what opinion does the Pope of an unrepentant mass murderer?

  • Dawkins

    Deezelbeezel,

    “Such intelligent statments from the truth…..obviously a very lerned contributor….bet he/she is a yank”

    Is that rhyming slang?

  • RepublicanStones

    peaceandjustice how is the north of ireland british soil. its not connected to britain. you actually contradicted yourself by claiming it was british soil because its in the uk. whats the full title of the uk, its the united kingdom of great britain AND northern ireland. so if the british govt don’t see it as british you need to take it up with them. its irish soil. end of, next you’ll be telling us Iraq is american soil.

  • deezle beezle

    Republicanstones,
    Aren’t these islands called the british isles??? Or have the politicaly correct brigade changed that now?
    So technically its all british soil….. Atleast geographicaly speaking!

  • RepublicanStones

    the british isles is not an official term. they can also be called the anglo-celt islands, for you to use the term british isles illustrates perfectly your empire mentality. the british isles term is outdated and a relic, rather fitting for a man like yourself then.

  • deezle beezle

    Listen…… I can hear bugles…..I can hear hooves… Yes there they go…. The politicaly correct brigade! The anglo celt islands!!! Next you’ll be telling me that you a public waste recepticle cleansing operative.

  • RepublicanStones

    the fact you have never heard the term anglo-celt islands illustrates perfectly the disdain you probably have for reading. and riddle me this batman, if the north is british why is the uk titled the way in which it is by the british govt. because if you believe it is british, then you need to take your beef up with them as they don’t seem to agree.

  • PeaceandJustice

    RepublicanStones – “you actually contradicted yourself by claiming it was british soil because its in the uk. whats the full title of the uk, its the united kingdom of great britain AND northern ireland. so if the british govt don’t see it as british you need to take it up with them. its irish soil.”

    The usual fantasy rubbish. Is it too difficult for you to understand that all people in the UK are British? Because those are the facts. Your point about Irish soil doesn’t make sense either. Just as we have Scottish-British, Welsh-British and English-British, we also have Northern Irish-British as well. Saying any different doesn’t make it change. Enjoy having your Republican fantasies during your walks on British soil in Northern Ireland!

  • Dawkins

    “British soil in Northern Ireland!”

    Until a foot-and-mouth outbreak, at which juncture it magically becomes Irish soil :0)

  • RepublicanStones

    im not the fantasist as im not the one screaming at facts, the north of ireland is not part of britain so how is it british soil????? it seems the govt you pledge allegiance to are trying to tell you something…..i wonder what that could be?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    P&J;”Is it too difficult for you to understand that all people in the UK are British?”

    I’m not.

    Whatcha think about that?

    Hope you’re enjoying your triumphalism, by the way. Suits you….

  • Pete Baker

    It might be appropriate at this point to remind commenters that the deputy First Minister would not be attending in a personal capacity.. but as a representative of the Northern Ireland Executive.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Dawkins – well that’s just silly. Any foot-and-mouth outbreak doesn’t have to mean restrictions in the whole of the UK.

    To RepublicanStones – The facts are obviously a bit difficult for you to understand. Being British is something which covers the whole of the UK and some other territories further afield – it seems you can’t get past the Great Britain part. The FACT is (whether you like it or not) Northern Ireland is British. You can say whatever you want. It doesn’t change anything. Welcome to the real world.

  • RepublicanStones

    if its british i think you need to to ring the queen and gordon brown and tell them, or else until they decide otherwise, the north of ireland aint british, you can’t seem to get past the AND northern ireland part. oh and its irish soil, always was and always will be. and if your referring to Las Malvinas as being british, when its 8000 miles away from britain and on argentina’s doorstep, then you can safely sit in that little empire box and continue trying to colonize the world.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>P&J;”Is it too difficult for you to understand that all people in the UK are British?”

    I’m not. – B.P.<

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Billy Pilgrim – OK so you have chosen to have a foreign passport. That’s your choice. But you’re still walking on British soil. It has nothing to do with triumphalism – just stating the facts about the UK being British.

    As Pete Baker has stated, the DFM would be a representative of the Northern Ireland Assembly – a UK Assembly. Maybe the Bogside Butcher is going to ask for forgiveness for all the murders he has carried out. The only problem is that he is very very proud of his Sinn Fein IRA activities.

    To RepublicanStones – if it makes you happy, keep dreaming.

  • Dawkins

    PeaceandJustice,

    “Any foot-and-mouth outbreak doesn’t have to mean restrictions in the whole of the UK.”

    With respect, I believe you misunderstand me. I was recalling FM Paisley’s response to the F&M;epidemic that hit Britain a couple of years back. He suddenly went from consistently claiming NI was British to insisting it was actually, in point of fact, er… Irish. And that Irish cows were, er, OK to slaughter, vulcanize and place between a pair of baps.

  • Boff

    I’m all for political correctness but Anglo-Celt Islands? It kind of excludes a lot of the races/ethnic groups of these islands: the Saxons, Normans, Danes and other Nordic tribes.

    The original inhabitants of the archipelago, after the last Ice Age, were Iberian anyway. To quote Stephen Oppenheimer: “The immigrants came principally from the ice age refuge in what is now the Basque Country, with a smaller immigration from refuges in the modern Ukraine and Moldavia. Three quarters of the ancestors of people of the British Isles[/these islands] may have arrived in this wave of immigration”. That is fascinating, maybe we should be called the Northern Basque Isles.

    I always thought British Isles was a geographical term rather than a political one, anyway. The name Great Britain does seem to imply there are other, smaller Britains in the vicinity.

    Back to PC mode. As this is such a contentious issue, how about a new name. “Ellanyn Goaldagh” has a nice ring to it.

    Anyway, to the real issue. As the DFM is representing the executive and the assembly rather than the UK or the Republic, shouldn’t any flag reflect that fact? Couldn’t a flag based on the assembly logo (six flax flowers) be flown?

  • Republicanstones

    peaceandjustice you are still screaming at facts. i didn’t decide the title of the uk, your beloved british govt did. so if you have an issue with them not believing the north of ireland is part of britain, then write a letter to downing st, until such times as your campaign to make the northern part of ireland is british, i’ll continue on my merry way along thses lovely green irish hills !

  • Billy Pilgrim

    P&J;”OK so you have chosen to have a foreign passport. That’s your choice. But you’re still walking on British soil.”

    Passports have nothing to do with it. I’m not British. Not in any sense. I mean no disrespect to the British people or the British state when I say that. It’s simply a reality that “British” ain’t what I am. Irish is what I am. I imply no judgement on the merits or demerits of this situation. These are simply the inaliable facts of my existence.

    Now, you say that I am “walking on British soil”. I suppose my retort would be: “I’m in Ireland. I’m walking on Irish soil.”

    To which you might respond: “Ah, but look at the flag flying over Belfast city hall. It is British, is it not?”

    Which of course is true.

    But I would then reply: “This is Ireland. I need no flag to demonstrate this inaliable reality, I need only look to the ground beneath my feet. “Irish” means “of Ireland”, which means that no flag and no political union with somewhere else can change the fact that I am “of Ireland” and am, ipso facto, Irish.”

    Or in short: my Irishness is inaliable.

    If your Britishness is based on nothing more than a flag and political union, then all I would say is that all flags eventually are run down the pole, and all political constructs eventually pass into history. So I guess your Britishness is not inaliable.

    Most unionists I know are much more advanced in their thinking of what their “Britishness” actually means in this day and age. If all it is to you is about flags and a political treaty, then you’re on very thin ice indeed.

    And yes, you are incorrigibly triumphalist.

    As an old primary school teacher of mine used to say: nobody likes a sickener.

    “…just stating the facts about the UK being British.”

    No, you said: “All people in the UK are British”. To which I repeat: I’m not.

    Whatcha think about that?

    (And no, this is not about passports, though yes, mine did come from Molesworth Street.)

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Pete

    “It might be appropriate at this point to remind commenters that the deputy First Minister would not be attending in a personal capacity.. but as a representative of the Northern Ireland Executive.”

    In that case, perhaps the correct symbol would be the blue flax thingy that represents the Assembly? After all, the old Government of Northern Ireland flag no longer has any official standing (not to mention the fact that the DFM simply wouldn’t fly it even if it did).

    Though I would suggest that His Holiness can to invite whoever he wants, and in whatever capacity he wants.

    (If he wanted to be perverse he could invite Gordon Brown, but specifically as the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, not as PM. Of course that’d be just daft, but it’s his party, his house, his rules. So he’s not going to be hidebound by our local squabbles over protocol.

    If the Pope wants our DFM there, he can ask him along, and if he declines to include preconditions to this invite, then I’m afraid all the unionist wish-fulfilment in the world won’t make him stuff a Union Jack down McGuinness’ throat.

    In fairness, it really isn’t as though it’s solely the DFM’s fault that we don’t have agreed symbols here.

  • Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    Hardline Unionists try to get up Irish folk noses by claiming that we are all ‘British’ in these islands, the ‘British Isles.’ And maybe we are to a degree here in Ireland, in an ancient historical sense. And so what? Regarding Boffs post, maybe folk from Iberia in ancient times arrived here first and then travelled onto Britain via the sea routes. As archaeologists are continually discovering cultural and genetic evidence.
    Anyway, Irish folks desire to be independant from London, looking after our own affairs with our own head of state was and is a reasonable enough desire. Poor old Ireland with it’s downtrodden peasant folk always got a raw deal even at it’s peak during the Union. England was allways given preferential treatment over Ireland regarding taxes and tariffs, the goods from Ireland taxed to the hilt. Hence all the Presbyterian folk upping and leaving too for the American shores coz of the discrimination and raw deal they got too. As well as the rest, being continually treated as cannonfodder too and sent to war over the centuries to fight for England’s cause was hardly a way or rewarding the ‘loyalty’ of the Irish.
    So it is kinda good to let go of Mammy Queen Liz’s apron strings and stand on your own two feet, as ye’s are kinda doing now with your own sort of ‘Home Rule.’
    Today the bond between the RoI and the UK’s mothership England has never been stronger. There is a great relationship today between the two countries and it’s all on equal terms. No one gets the old discriminatory preferential treatment as it still is the case today with England and the rest of the somewhat neglected regions within the UK.
    Sure folk from the Irish Republic are forever receiving knighthoods from the British royal folk as well as OBE’s, MBE’s etc… The milner Phillip Treacy, the latest to recieve an honour from the British royal house, and not forgeting the knighthoods of Geldof, Wogan, Bono, Smurfit, A. J. O’Reilly etc… over the last few years….if ye’s like that sort of thing.
    Sure maybe Martin McGuinness is a great drink, is in line next for an honour, and sure why not?

  • Nevin

    “it’s his party, his house, his rules”

    So it would seem, BP.

    Footnote: The actions of a few give butchers a bad press.

  • NW

    If you need to class Ireland and the British isles together then the correct name is the European Western Isles, or equally the North Atlantic Archipeligo. Grouping Ireland together with the British Isles is unfortunately incorrect.

  • Nevin
  • Boff

    Gréagóir O’ Frainclín

    With regard to all the downtrodden stuff, we’ve had that in Scotland too, to say nothing of Wales and even England – to quote Dick Gaughan “the first colony of the British Empire was England”. Where we differ, probably because of industrialisation, is that we tended to see all this as a class issue rather than a national one.

    My point about the name British Isles was that, to me anyway, it was always a geographical rather than a political/national one. It may no longer be an appropriate name, and from an Irish point of view it probably never was, but what you replace it with is problematic (see my point about Anglo-Celt Islands). British-Irish is out because a lot of us would want Scottsh in there somewhere. Personally I like IONA (Islands of the North Atlantic) not least because of the central role the island played in the history of these islands. Maybe “These Islands” will have to do for now.

    The Basque thing, if true, is fascinating, though, and surely points the way to a “shared future”. That three quarters of us are linked by ancestry shows that we’ve got such a lot in common.

    To touch on another point you raised, PeaceandJustice stated that people can regard themselves Scottish-British, Welsh-British, English-British and also Northern Irish-British. Do any people in the ROI genuinely regard themselves as Irish-British these days?

    You also list a number of people who have accepted British honours. I remember when Bob Geldof received his knighthood Thatcher referred to him as a “Brit” and I thought what an insult, the guy’s from Dublin; as far as I’m aware he didn’t protest. And as for Terry Wogan, I don’t know how he personally feels, but he’s a British icon; whenever we have a “shared” British occasion on the box he is there to present it.

    Anyway, apologies for straying once again from the topic: not that I have any say in the matter, but that’s two for the flax flag. I’m away to watch the NI game now.

  • The Dubliner

    Boff, those who talk about a ‘shared future’ as though it is a viable or legitimate option don’t understand the principle of self-determination or the concept of a nation state. It’s little more than try-on, anyway. Those who opposed the right of the Irish to a nation state and to self-determination failed in their opposition, and try a third way of graciously ‘sharing’ Ireland with the Irish, despite being a tiny minority with no hope of ever achieving parity of nationalisms.

  • deezle beezle

    Why dont we just send the First Minister and make this all an irrelevance. Lets face it Big Ian has already gave us one Proverbial “Bacon Butty Dropping” moment when he had his Love-in with Martin at Stormomnt. And lets face it there can only be two real probable outcomes (both beneficial to the population at large). Either he’ll sit down with the holly fella over a nice hot cuppa and tell some Lame jokes ( perhaps even starting a new era of world peace!!!!), or, It will completely overload his senses and he’ll drop with a Heart attack, relieving unionism of its greatest walking PR disaster.

  • Boff

    The Dubliner

    Sorry, I’m probably getting my terminology mixed up. When I talk of a shared future I’m thinking of the possible scenario where these islands contain a set of free standing nation states dealing with any common issues much in the way the UK and RoI is beginning to do now. England will still be there, though, and its size and power will affect the other states even when it is acting in its own legimate interest. England wants to secure its borders against entry, fine – the rest of us can either impose similar controls or find that we’re on the outside too.

    Self determination I have always agreed with, whether that is for Vietnam, East Timor – even Scotland – but what about Kurdistan, Kosovo or Shetland? If Scotland pushed for independence could the people of Shetland determine that they return to their Scandinavian roots? Or even stay with a reduced UK? After all they would have considerable oil assets.

    Does self determination always have to mean complete independence anyway? That would be my preference for Scotland but, as it doesn’t yet have the necessary support, I’d settle for some sort of free and equal association with the other parts of a reformed UK.

  • Nevin

    Will Eggs Benedict and Bacon Butty Martin be on the menu for the Brady Brunch?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Billy Pilgrim – “This is Ireland. I need no flag to demonstrate this inaliable reality, I need only look to the ground beneath my feet.”

    Of course it’s the island of Ireland! No one is arguing otherwise. But the majority of people in Northern Ireland also consider themselves British. As I said previously, in the UK we have English-British, Northern Irish-British, Scottish-British and Welsh-British. So whatever you as an individual choose to think, you’re still walking on British soil in Northern Ireland. Call it Ulster-British, Northern Irish-British or Irish-British if it makes you feel happier. But it’s British. Fact.

    “my Irishness is inaliable … I guess your Britishness is not inaliable” and then go on to say “you are incorrigibly triumphalist.”

    What arrogance.

  • RepublicanStones

    So whatever you as an individual choose to think, you’re still walking on British soil in Northern Ireland. – peaceandjustice

    again you scream at facts p&j;, the north may be classed as part of the uk by the british govt, but at the same time it is also classed as not being part of britain by the exact same govt. so your argument holds no water and is based on your little empire mind, as no doubt you would claim Las malvinas are as british as finchley. if you have a problem with the north of Ireland not being british soil, take it up with the govt you pledge allegiance to, don’t come on here and spout rubbish which a 5yr old would be able to see through. and ireland will always be ireland britain, which is an island consisting of 3 nations, may not always be britain. oh and if you want arrogance, hows about the name of your beloved island….’Great’ Britain.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To RepublicanStones – your usual nonsense. Keep your head in the sand. The reality of Northern Ireland being part of the UK obviously annoys you. You should find a hobby to take your mind off it.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    P&J;”Of course it’s the island of Ireland! No one is arguing otherwise.”

    Well, you’d look pretty ridiculous if you did. Though believe it or not, I have heard people try to argue that before!

    “But the majority of people in Northern Ireland also consider themselves British.”

    I know. And I do respect that. All I expect is fair play for those of us who hold a different view.

    “As I said previously, in the UK we have English-British, Northern Irish-British, Scottish-British and Welsh-British.”

    Yes, I know, I get it.

    “So whatever you as an individual choose to think, you’re still walking on British soil in Northern Ireland.”

    No I’m not, except in the sense that the British state presently holds the leasehold on this territory. Which I don’t dispute. However, to leap from there to a declaration that “NI is British” is needlessly provocative and triumphalist.

    And I would remind you once again that what you actually said was: “Everyone in the UK is British.” And I said: “I’m not.” Or perhaps you’re going to explain to me how my identity is your decision?

    “Call it Ulster-British, Northern Irish-British or Irish-British if it makes you feel happier. But it’s British. Fact.”

    Only in a quasi-imperialist sense of being owned by Britain. Clearly it’s not geographically British – don’t take my word for it, ask the Irish Sea. It’s not politically British, being as it is part of a political construct called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Clearly in this place of divided loyalties and identities, the question of whether it’s demographically British is hugely contentious.

    All of which makes it quite an interesting place, full of shades of grey. Declaring “NI is British” is simple triumphalism, but I suppose it takes all sorts to make a society, and there’s a place for triumphalists too.

    “my Irishness is inaliable … I guess your Britishness is not inaliable” and then go on to say “you are incorrigibly triumphalist.”

    What arrogance.”

    Well yeah, if you take some of my arguments out of context, I suppose you can accuse me of anything. But I have a sort-of rule that when people start wilfully misrepresenting me and start misquoting and mendaciously taking things out of context, the debate has come to the end of its usefulness.

    There’s nothing more boring than trying to talk to someone who is invincibly disinterested in anything you might have to say, and who just wants to “win”. So good luck.