The British Irish experience

David Christopher offers his thoughts on the Reform Movement’s new blog on the developments made in the last 15 years from a southern perspective. He also outlines some issues yet to be dealt with. This comes soon after comments from Danny Kennedy in the Assembly, calling for the Republic to rejoin the Union.From David’s piece:

Of course there is still so much to do, and a long road ahead – we have seen the fruits of embracing Europe – so why not embrace the Commonwealth also? In doing so Ireland would become the fourth European Union nation in the Commonwealth, after the UK, Cyprus and Malta. Joining the Commonwealth would give the Irish Republic a whole new dimension to the work we already do with the EU and United Nations.

And perhaps most important of all, those of minority identity in the Republic are still denied the fundamental promise of the Good Friday Agreement – the right to choose between Irish citizenship, British citizenship or both. It is nonsensical that somebody of nationalist identity in Strabane, County Tyrone has this right, whilst somebody of Irish-British identity across the river in Lifford, County Donegal is denied it.

  • Greenflag

    ‘It is nonsensical that somebody of nationalist identity in Strabane, County Tyrone has this right, whilst somebody of Irish-British identity across the river in Lifford, County Donegal is denied it.’

    Yes it is a nonsense – One of the many too numerous to list which have been engendered by the poorly drawn Border from the outset.

    BTW

    Denied by who exactly ?

    Surely HMG has a role in this situation and not just the Irish Republic ?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Is the Republic ready to allow the minority of it’s citizens the right to a British nationality and the liberty that comes with it? They certainly aren’t ready to allow British Ulstermen that right, as was clearly demonstrated when Love Ulster went to Dublin.

  • DC

    Isn’t David Christopher a member of the UUP Michael, not that that is anything to undermine his argument being made.

    However, if he is and he is writing from a Northern perspective should he not consider how identity can be transposed into the new Stormont and how much cultural recognition it will give to Irish in order to debate methods that could be invested into the South re British identity. As things stand nationalist have yet to canonise Stormont with any legislation or otherwise that bolsters cultural recognition, apart from having bums on seats, so that loses drive on David’s supposition.

    Further from a rationale point of view regarding benefits to be had from the Europena Union vis-a-vis the Commonwealth, is it not the case that the EU offers a culturally cohesive framework in comparison to that of any larger commonwealth. There is of course monetary matters and stability support from the EU that may be more palatable and practical as a modern political template than that offered via Britain’s Commonwealth.

    This is only cursory start to the wider claims made so I will give it some more thought.

  • “Is the Republic ready to allow the minority of it’s citizens the right to a British nationality and the liberty that comes with it?”

    Actually it’s got bugger all to do with the Republic, at least in a legal/hypothetical sense. The decision of to whom the UK grants British citizenship is one, as Greenflag hinted at, for the UK alone.

  • Irish Alone

    Do we want more bloodshed?

  • Greenflag

    ‘Actually it’s got bugger all to do with the Republic, at least in a legal/hypothetical sense. The decision of to whom the UK grants British citizenship is one, as Greenflag hinted at, for the UK alone.’

    Thank you Beano . You’re better at th’oul hints than MS:)

    MS,

    ‘as was clearly demonstrated when Love Ulster went to Dublin’

    50 teenagers throwing stones at a ‘Love Ulster’ rally while 99.99999 % of Dublin’s population sat at home clearly demonstrates that for most Dubs their Saturday was more important to them than either the ‘Love Ulster’ nutters or a shower of thickos !

    BTW did the ‘Love Ulster’ shower include Donegal , Cavan and Monaghan in their inclusive/exclusive ? lovefest ?

  • suchard

    There is no original thought in this approach.It’s been around for years probably since 1922. Remember it was the 26 counties who opted to leave the United Kingdom though nowadays most of them opt to live and settle within the Kingdom. Really all the Republic does is act as a nursery for eventual resettlement with us. Only the real nationalist dinosaurs remain with real Gaelic names like Adams and Hume.Papa Doc wants to ask Bertie for a referundum on this issue we could hold it both sides of the border simultaneously. There is a precedent The Belfast Agreement plebicite. The Princess Royal could be come the Vicerene of a British Ireland.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Greenflag, you seem to be attributing to me something I didn’t say…….

  • George

    I believe there are in the region of 40,000 people living in Northern Ireland who were born in the Republic.

    Gregory Campbell harped on about how so many of these people were being denied access to British citizenship.

    He even organised a postcard campaign where disgruntled southerners would send a postcard to him. I said then that we would never here any more of this and 3 years later we are still waiting for Campbell to produce a postcard.

    Come on Gregory, you must have got at least one.

    The chances of hearing anything grew even more remote when later, if I recall correctly, it emerged that a grand total of 26 southerners have become naturalised British citizens in the last few years.

    How many people does Mr. Christopher think live south of the border who considered themselves part of a British minority and who also are not entitled to a British passport?

    Is it more or less than 20?

    How many members of his Reform Movement are in this dreadful predicament? More or less than 5?

    Also, does Mr. Christopher not reside north of the border these days so he can become Mr 27 soon enough.

  • Fine Gaeler

    I am from the 26 counties and of Protestant persuasion and I would go to arms before accepting anything to do with Britain. And I am not alone.

  • Briso

    Posted by beano on Feb 22, 2008 @ 02:53 PM
    Actually it’s got bugger all to do with the Republic, at least in a legal/hypothetical sense.

    There is nothing hypothetical about the law. The UK will never grant citizenship to people born in the 26. Ask Willie Hay.

  • proving ground

    beano’s point about the granting of citizenship seems a fair one, but it may have more than “bugger all” to do with the Republic. Surely what those “of minority identity” in the South would desire is not just a passport but some means of expressing (or more importantly perceiving) their identity, much as nationalists cherish the Irish language and its inclusion in public life in Northern Ireland. Presumably, North-South bodies and the North-South Ministerial Council are meant to facilitate some modicum of representation onto which unionists in the south can hang their hats. How far that can go remains to be seen, though the DUP’s participation in the council in 2007 is a step in the right direction.

  • Greenflag

    Do we want more bloodshed?

    Of course . As long as it’s theirs and not ours 🙁 . The fact that you can’t have one without the other has yet to dawn on some people .Perhaps it’s just the usual a case of people wanting what they can’t have .

    Mr Christopher is indulging in an outbreak of late 19th century jingoitis . Whereas the Serbs are now indulging in the glories of the 13th century our Unionists are a little more advanced in only indulging in the glories of the late 17th century and in an Empire that ceased to exist a half century ago 🙁

    I’ve no strong views on Commonwealth membership either way . Could be good for some sports and educational exchanges etc .

  • Paul

    Fine Gaeler :I am from the 26 counties and of Protestant persuasion and I would go to arms before accepting anything to do with Britain. And I am not alone.

    Please enlighten me as to why 6 county Nationalists did not recieve your blessing for the same thing?

  • Greenflag

    ‘Remember it was the 26 counties who opted to leave the United Kingdom ‘

    Incorrect . 28 counties opted to leave but only 26 were allowed to go . Co’s Fermanagh and Tyrone voted for independence .

    ‘though nowadays most of them opt to live and settle within the Kingdom.’

    ???? You need to elucidate on this ‘bizarre’ statement otherwise you’ll be written off as a nutter .

  • Dec

    some means of expressing (or more importantly perceiving) their identity, much as nationalists cherish the Irish language and its inclusion in public life in Northern Ireland.

    Well if that analogy is anything to go by, the Trinity 5 shouldn’t hold their breath.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Greenflag [i]”50 teenagers throwing stones at a ‘Love Ulster’ rally while 99.99999 % of Dublin’s population sat at home clearly demonstrates that for most Dubs their Saturday was more important to them than either the ‘Love Ulster’ nutters or a shower of thickos !”[/i]

    99.999999% of Irish Republicans/Nationalists did not join the PIRA, yet they held the same ideology.

    Greenflag “[i]BTW did the ‘Love Ulster’ shower include Donegal , Cavan and Monaghan in their inclusive/exclusive ? lovefest ?”[/i]

    would that have stopped the minority from rioting in Dublin?

  • RG Cuan

    This really is a non-issue as the vast majority of Irish people do not desire to rejoin the British Union or its Commonwealth.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Presumably, North-South bodies and the North-South Ministerial Council are meant to facilitate some modicum of representation onto which unionists in the south can hang their hats.’

    The problem here is finding enough Southern Unionist heads to hang any hats on . Most British people in the Republic are not ‘unionists’. They are English , Scottish etc immigrants . There is no correlation between Southern Protestant and Southern Unionist such as there would have been decades ago . Southern Protestants are Irish just like the rest of us . And if some are of Anglo/British ‘heritage’ well the same can be said for many Southern Catholics .

    The Northern Ireland concept of Unionism and what such Unionism entails , is one that is not shared by more than a handful of people in the Republic . It’s also not shared by the vast majority of the British people in the ubiquitous ‘mainland’.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Fine Gaeler “[i]I am from the 26 counties and of Protestant persuasion and I would go to arms before accepting anything to do with Britain. And I am not alone.[/i]

    Did you recently become Protestant or were your family one of the lucky ones who found other Protestants to marry?

  • picador

    ‘This comes soon after comments from Danny Kennedy in the Assembly, calling for the Republic to rejoin the Union.’

    And you don;t feel in the slightest bit embarrassed about this Shilliday. Bonkers!

    As for Mr Christoper, he should go off to the Vice-Regal Logde in Shimla, Himachal Pradesch, and try his luck there. Crank!

    I am sorry to inform you (actually I’m not sorry) but the sun has long since set on the British Empire. And no Irishman worthy of the name would take his place at a Grand Durbar, a.k.a. Commonwealth Summit.

  • Greenflag

    ‘99.999999% of Irish Republicans/Nationalists did not join the PIRA, yet they held the same ideology.’

    Nonsense – Throwing stones is not an ideology It’s just mindless thuggery .

    ‘would that have stopped the minority from rioting in Dublin?’

    Attention to historic or geographic detail is not a skill that is widely spread among the stone throwing -drum beating – rabble rousing gobshites who are out to destroy people’s enjoyment of a Saturday afternoon !

  • Rory

    If there are those who are anxious that a former colony that rebelled and is now a republic should join the Commonwealth and then accept the English monarch as its titular head, should they not go for the big prize?

    I am sure the good citizens of the USA are besides themselves with excitement as they wait for the invitation.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Greenflag [i]”Nonsense – Throwing stones is not an ideology It’s just mindless thuggery .” [/i]

    It’s not nonsense. They were throwing stones, burning cars, attacking their own police because they seen the Union flag, Loyalist bands and the Orange Order on O’Connell street as anti-Irish.

  • janeymac

    Ulsters my homeland[i]”would that have stopped the minority from rioting in Dublin?”[/i]

    No, it wouldn’t. But the cleanup was a costly exercise (€12m) – though well worth it I suppose for the examination & exposure as to who and what the Love Ulster ‘victims’ are all about. We won’t be making that mistake down here again.

    I think it is a much better idea spending €10m on Boyne Valley Interpretative Site.

    Enjoy it!

    [i]Did you recently become Protestant or were your family one of the lucky ones who found other Protestants to marry?[/i]

    Surely you could have been sending down south a few protestant reinforcements to preserve the Union. LOL.

    By the way, I have two sets of friends in mixed marriages who are bringing their children up as protestant rather than catholic. Its far more to do with small class sizes in protestant primary schools than anything else though!

  • Of course citizenship of a Commonwealth nation does not give any rights of UK citizenship, or of UK residence. Why should it?

    I’d also take issue with Greenflag @ 2.02pm. Yes, the border was “poorly drawn” from the outset. Indeed, it should never have been there, and certainly shouldn’t have been allowed to persist (cui bono?) But to blame it on, or to share the blame equally for it with “HMG”, is pushing the bounds of reality.

    The border was willed into life, and maintained largely by the “Unionists” (i.e. secessionists) of the North-East, but with the connivance of successive Dublin administrations. As I have tried to show in previous threads, all the evidence is that Westminster would happily have been rid of the whole thing for the last 70 years.

    Then there is the other side. FSL Lyons’s essay, The Great Debate, in Farrell’s Irish Parliamentary Tradition, shows found 338 pages of the published Dáil debate on the Treaty: just nine of those are concerned with the Border issue, and almost all of that is from TDs from Monaghan.

    Search as one may, there is no great enthusiasm in Dublin for positive results from the 1925 Boundary Commission. In 1923 Eoin MacNeill (Dublin’s man on the Commission) pondered there were three ways ahead:

    acknowledge the position of the Belfast government and negotiate there;
    insist on negotiating through London;
    “to drift on doing nothing and this promises no advantage”.

    He was instructed by Cosgrave that the first option was the chosen one. As we all know, it was the third which applied ever since.

    There is a telling document in the State Archives which polled the Cumann na nGaedheal Ministers in anticipation of the Boundary Commission Report. The Finance Minister, McGilligan, went on record to fret that “unemployment insurance would be our greatest problem (thus explicitly admitting that the Free State could not afford to take on new responsibilities).

    But, all changed in March 1932, with the arrival of the Fianna Fáil government, didn’t it? Well, no, actually.

    There already was the May 1921 secret meeting of De Valera and Craig, which Michael Hopkinson represents as “pragmatic”. One is hard pressed to find a better description of de Valera’s (and his Party’s) whole subsequent attitude to the Border question. Example: the 1945 Anti-Partition League.

    Bardon (pages 598-9) is essential reading here. The League was northern Catholics mobilizing, not essentially against Stormont, but to protest Dublin’s inertia. De Valera and MacEntee resolved to keep quiet, as their best ploy. Herbert Morrison told de Valera that there was no way London could coerce Stormont “in view of the troubled world in which we all lived”. Brooke was firmly told that a proposed American visit would be “disastrous … would awaken sleeping dogs, which we have every reason to hope are not merely somnolent but lethargic”. Those dogs were not just in Dublin, but also in Washington: Harry Truman was advised that Partition was not an issue on which the US “might properly intervene”.

    The persistence of the Border for so long is one issue that belongs firmly and solely in the island of Ireland. It is rapidly becoming irrelevant. It is not for export (unlike us poor lost souls — from both traditions — of the diaspora, all with our burgundy passports).

  • Twinbrook

    With the Scots on the verge of asserting their own national identity and maybe within years of breaking completely with the UK, and with the Welsh national movement constantly growing and becoming louder and louder, we on the island of Ireland still have a backward looking minority desperate to get others to share their “British identity” an identity at odds with a multi-cultural Britain, an identity at odds with Scottish and Welsh aspirations of nationhood, an identity with more in common with the BNP and the NF……

    Maybe they hope to find converts in of all places Southern Ireland, the pit of Hell, the abode of the whore of Babylon, to bolster thier cause!

    As to British Ulstermen….

    is that the part of Ulster the 6 county part torn asunder from the REAL 9 county Ulster to facilitate a bunch of anti-Catholic bigots!!

    Its sad that some loyalists in search of an identity, still cling to archaic notions more akin to 18th century Britain…

    Ireland will never gave up its hard earned national freedom to become part of a dying world dinosaur…

    At least the Scots have seen the future and its not orange, sorry red white and blue..

  • proving ground

    Greenflag,

    No doubt we are talking about a small population of unionist-minded people living in the south, but calling it “a handful” would seem a bit dismissive of those in border areas, like Donegal.

    At any rate, we might also consider that there are unionists in Northern Ireland who maintain memories and ties from days when more Protestants lived in the south and, rightly or wrongly, they gauge their relationship with the republic through what they imagine would be their experience living in the south. Could they somehow be unionists in the south? “Southern Protestants are Irish just like the rest of us” will sound at least lonely and at worst intimidating.

    I tend to agree with RG Cuan that the likelihood of the RoI joining the union or commonwealth is slim to nil, but there may be some value in asking what motivates the question in the first place. I would guess that Danny Kennedy is one of those northern unionists using this issue to test the temperature of the water across the border. … and trying to look more Ulster than Paisley, which is equally unproductive, but that’s another conversation.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    janeymac “[i]By the way, I have two sets of friends in mixed marriages who are bringing their children up as protestant rather than catholic. Its far more to do with small class sizes in protestant primary schools than anything else though!”[/i]

    You’ve just given your age away, lol

  • Ulster’s my homeland

    “[i]As to British Ulstermen….

    is that the part of Ulster the 6 county part torn asunder from the REAL 9 county Ulster to facilitate a bunch of anti-Catholic bigots!!

    Its sad that some loyalists in search of an identity, still cling to archaic notions more akin to 18th century Britain…

    Ireland will never gave up its hard earned national freedom to become part of a dying world dinosaur… [/i]

    Laughing at Twinbrook. You were doing quite well advertising Scottish, Welsh and English nationalism until you started with Ulster lol

    surely you wouldn’t be against Ulster nationalism Twinbrook?

  • Greenflag

    ‘At any rate, we might also consider that there are unionists in Northern Ireland who maintain memories and ties from days when more Protestants lived in the south and, rightly or wrongly, they gauge their relationship with the republic through what they imagine would be their experience living in the south.’

    The Irish Republic in 2008 is not the Ireland of 1865 for that was approx the time when the Southern Ireland (present 26 counties ) Protestant population started to decline significantly mainly due to the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland and economic stagnation . Of course an even greater number of Catholics left the country at the same time for mainly economic reasons .

    ‘ Could they somehow be unionists in the south? ‘

    To what end ? It would be like being an Irish Republican in present day Tunbridge Wells – a political anachronism . Being a Unionist in the Republic would be politically divisive and would be regarded as say an Irish Nationalist or Irish Republican was regarded in Northern Ireland pre 1969. The difference being of course that a ‘unionist’ in the Republic would be a lonlier position to be in than to be an Irish Nationalist in NI where the latter make up almost 50% of the population and form local majorities in many parts of NI.

    ‘I tend to agree with RG Cuan that the likelihood of the RoI joining the union or commonwealth is slim to nil, but there may be some value in asking what motivates the question in the first place.’

    Rejoining the Union is not within the realms of the politically possible at this juncture . I would never say never but given the history of the past several centuries between most of Ireland and Britain not a runner. I would not however write off possible commonwealth membership in the non too distant future.

    ‘ but there may be some value in asking what motivates the question in the first place. I would guess that Danny Kennedy is one of those northern unionists using this issue to test the temperature of the water across the border.’

    I’m sure there can be any number of motivations but if the question were could they be British in the South as opposed to Unionist the answer would have to be of course .There are many British people in the South who work and live and raise families here the same as everybody else . Of course these British residents accept the Republic for what it is and while retaining justifiable pride in their British origins they don’t let that get in the way of making the best of where they are now living .

    The ‘mindset’ of Unionists is of course very different for all the reasons which we know too well . Whether Unionists ever get beyond that mindset is a matter for themselves as individuals and as a people .

    It’s 2008 not 1641 nor 1798 nor 1690 nor 1916 . Things have changed and will continue to change hopefully for the better .

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>surely you wouldn’t be against Ulster nationalism Twinbrook?< < Difficult to be against something that never has, and never will exist. >>At least the Scots have seen the future and its not orange, sorry red white and blue..<< No you were right the first time Twinbrook. Scotland decided a few years ago to give the red card to orangeism and it's twin racism. Orangeism, once a part of mainstream Scottish society now has zero influence and is being marginalised into obscurity.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Prince Eoghan [i]Difficult to be against something that never has, and never will exist.[/i]

    It has some support at community level, but that doesn’t mean it will never exist. Everything starts from the ground up.

    [i]Scotland decided a few years ago to give the red card to orangeism and it’s twin racism. [/i]

    Prince Eoghan, that’s not correct. If you’re going to say Orangeism has a twin, it would surely be a Roman Catholic organisation, who only have Roman Catholic members.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Don’t wish to burst your bubble, but I do believe(correct me if I’m wrong) that you may be referring in comparison to an organisation called the knights of Columba. How much do you know about this organisation?, not much I’d bet. And don’t be laying odds that I or most here know very much about them at all. I believe them to be some kind of secret pro-Catholic organisation, after that frig knows! What we don’t have however is them marching unwanted down my street, unwanted. or more significantly acting as a beacon of intolerance that attracts Catholic-haters and their fellow travellers in racist and fascist movements in Britain, Europe and the America’s.

    >>It has some support at community level, but that doesn’t mean it will never exist. Everything starts from the ground up.<< Don't wish to be rude, but much of what you say comes across as make believe and storytelling. There is zero chance of there ever being any kind of Ulster Nationalist movement. Perhaps Finn McCool is a front-runner in the impending leadership battle.

  • Twinbrook

    Ulster nationalism?

    the combat/uda form of Nationalism…

    a form of nationalism particular to only a minuscule number of Protestants…

    a nationalism that denies the rights of the three other REAL counties of Ulster…

    a 6 county form of nationalism favoured and supported by nazi groups such as the bnp,nf?

    a form of nationalism which drifts from the extremity’s of an independent 6 county ulster to the realms of farce enshrined in British Israelism!!!!

    Keep reading the Combat!!!

  • joeCanuck

    Tongue in cheek.

    The British government retires the monarchy and we negotiate a new Act of union among the 5 parties.

  • Reader

    Prince Eoghan:
    Don’t wish to burst your bubble, but I do believe(correct me if I’m wrong) that you may be referring in comparison to an organisation called the knights of Columba.

    Surely not. The OO counterparts are the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The KoC are more like the Masons – a mirror image, just as the IVF were for the old UVF.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Prince Eoghan [i]”Don’t wish to burst your bubble, but I do believe(correct me if I’m wrong) that you may be referring in comparison to an organisation called the knights of Columba. How much do you know about this organisation?, not much I’d bet. And don’t be laying odds that I or most here know very much about them at all. I believe them to be some kind of secret pro-Catholic organisation, after that frig knows![/i]

    No, I’m not referring to the likes of the knights of Columba. In fact that would be a grave injustice to the Order who appear in public to walk the Queens highway in a very dignified manner.

    [i]What we don’t have however is them marching unwanted down my street, unwanted. or more significantly acting as a beacon of intolerance that attracts Catholic-haters and their fellow travellers in racist and fascist movements in Britain, Europe and the America’s. [/i]

    [b]attracts Catholic-haters?[/b] If there is a bad side to the order marching along the Queen’s highway, it’s that they attract Republican bigots to protest against their beliefs and culture.

  • PaddyReilly

    I believe them to be some kind of secret pro-Catholic organisation

    KoC is a Catholic Lay Order. The Catholic Church does not allow secret organisations.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Twinbrook, Yes Ulster Nationalism. Nationality can be defined as the origin, history, culture, heritage and identity of one people that gives them a different outlook from other peoples. Undeniably Ulster and Irish people are separate nationalities.

    Have you learned about Ulster day and the signing of Ulster’s Solemn League and Covenant? That was not possible with a “minuscule number of Protestants” and was long before the UDA were formed. You’re grand-daddy probably signed the Ulster Covenant for all you know.

    Remember the Ulster protests at Stormont against the Sunningdale Agreement? That was not a “minuscule number of Protestants”

    Remember the Ulster protests at the city hall against the Sunningdale Agreement? That was not a “minuscule number of Protestants”

    All were saying clearly that Ulster was not part of the Irish Republic,

    All were saying clearly that Ulster had the right to self determination.

    ….and if our identity and liberty is on the line again, the Ulster people will take to the streets and protest for their God given right of self determination.

  • joeCanuck

    I had completely forgotten about the Slieve Donard tablet.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Twinbrook [i]”a nationalism that denies the rights of the three other REAL counties of Ulster… “[/i]

    What on Earth are you on about? The Ulster people from the three other counties you mention never had their rights taken away from them. They also signed the Ulster’s Solemn League and Covenant and their right to protest against the Sunningdale Agreement was never taken away from them.

  • Ulsters my homeland @ 09:12 PM:

    Ulster had the right to self determination

    Read that again: it is total nonsense, geographic and political. It has never been the Unionist demand. The demand was not to have self-determination.

    “Self-determination” was what President Wilson was demanding at the Versailles Peace Conference. Logically, there should have been a referendum throughout Ulster. In October 1919 a Cabinet committee (headed by Walter Long, the former Ulster Unionist leader) firmly rejected this, in favour of an imposed solution, a further revision of the 1914 Home Rule statute. Balfour stated that plebiscites were appropriate only for defeated countries: “Ireland is not like a conquered state, which we can carve up as in Central Europe”.

  • Lorraine

    umh
    ulster nationalism is a fallacy which will never develop into anything like a coherent philosophy given that the exponents of it refuse to recognise the full entity of ulster…. the six counties are only a part of ulster, there are three more counties, counties which the unionist/loyalist/sectarian industrialists of belfast wanted abandoned in the treaty negotiations so that they could have a secure protestant state for a protestant people with an easily subdued catholic minority. partition was a short term expedient which developed into a long term liability for the british and the sooner the british can extricate themselves from the clinging, whinging claws of “ulster” the better for them. face it mate, you and your’s are an embarrassment to the british.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Malcolm Redfellow, [i]”Read that again: it is total nonsense, geographic and political. It has never been the Unionist demand. The demand was not to have self-determination.”[/i]

    You’re talking nonsense. With the threat of home rule looming the Ulster people decided for self determination. They were prepared to fight for their right not to be ruled by Dublin and not to be sold out by Westminster. This isn’t rocket science Malcolm and you can quote all the minutes during the negotiations, but one fact remains, the Ulster people were going to decide their own future, not Dublin or Westminster.

  • DK

    Ulster nationalism may not ever arise (and probably the same was said about scottish/welsh/even english & cornish nationalism) but we need to be mindful that wishing to be ruled by Dublin or London are mirror images of the same “grass is greener on the other side” mentalities.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Lorraine [i]”ulster nationalism is a fallacy which will never develop into anything like a coherent philosophy given that the exponents of it refuse to recognise the full entity of ulster[/i]

    given that Ulster is the nationality being discussed here, we should just be considering Ulster, not, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English or British.

    So, what components don’t recognise the full entity of Ulster?

    “[i]…. the six counties are only a part of ulster, there are three more counties, counties which the unionist/loyalist/sectarian industrialists of belfast wanted abandoned in the treaty negotiations so that they could have a secure protestant state for a protestant people with an easily subdued catholic minority.[/i]

    Ulster’s borders and people were never set in stone. The English gave Ulster 9 counties, but the majority of Ulster’s people wished to remain British after Eire opted out of the Union to secure their Catholic state for a Catholic people

    [i]”partition was a short term expedient which developed into a long term liability for the british and the sooner the british can extricate themselves from the clinging, whinging claws of “ulster” the better for them. face it mate, you and your’s are an embarrassment to the british. “[/i]

    and you’re 100% right Lorraine. Westminster never had so tough a time of it than when they thought they could deny the Ulster people the right to their own self determination. English ascendancy and Irish chauvinism have combined to suppress knowledge of Ulster and Ulster history,to deny the very concept of the Ulster nation at home or overseas and to deprive Ulstermen of legitmate pride in their heritage and national identity.

  • Lorraine

    umh
    you still don’t grasp the point: there is No such thing as ulster nationality; ulster is NOT a nation. you are deluded ny friend and should maybe seek the assistance of either an elementary teacher to instruct you on “ulster”, or a psychiatrist …………..welcome to the real world

  • Twinbrook

    ulster, now I know you`re taking the ****

    good wind up though…

  • Ulsters my homeland @ 09:40 PM:

    When it comes to air-brushing history, it takes a pathological Irish/Northern Irish extremist to give the master class.

    What the Unionists of the period, down to 1920, wanted was “Union”. No disagreement there?

    Once they had ditched any concern for southern fellow Unionists, the only issue for the Ulster Unionist Council (the cabal around Craig) was whether they could hold nine or six or even just four counties.

    Let me rely on Bardon (page 477) on the 1920 Government of Ireland Bill:

    Why then not simply allow Northern Ireland to be ruled directly from London? For British politicians the setting up of a parliament in Belfast responsible for all local affairs had the strong attraction of shifting the constant burden of managing day-to-day Irish matters firmly across the Irish Sea. There was also the vague assumption — not tested by consultation — that Nationalists would find two Home Rule parliaments less repellent than a straightforward exclusion of the north-east. As a gesture towards the self-determination principle, the Bill proposed a Council of Ireland, made up of twenty represntatives each from the Dublin and Belfast parliaments, ‘with a view to the eventual establishment of a parliament for the whole of Ireland, and to bring about harmonious action between the parliaments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland’.

    That means that any “self-determination” was imposed by Westminster, whose other aim was to keep the noisome Irish (both lots) at something like arm’s length. In one point, though, Ulsters my homeland @ 09:40 PM is absolutely correct. The Belfast parliament was little to do with matters of Ireland: on the contrary, it was a specific Tory machination against those pesky radicals back in Britain.

    Bardon again (pages 477-8):

    The Ulster Unionist Council was somewhat unconvincing in asserting that loyalists would be making a ‘supreme sacrifice’ by accepting a parliament in Belfast. Captain Charles Craig, brother of James and MP for South Antrim, said in the Commons on 29 March that […] he profoundly distrusted the Labour Party and Asquith’s Liberal opposition: ‘We believe that if either of those parties, or the two in combination, were once in power our chances of remaining a part of the United Kingdom would be very small indeed.’

  • Greenflag

    ‘but one fact remains, the Ulster people were going to decide their own future, not Dublin or Westminster.’

    Not quite the truth . More accurate to say that ‘some’ of the people of Ulster were going to decide the future of Ulster and indeed of Ireland . This ‘some “represented about 51% of the Ulster population (9 counties in 1920) . Today this ‘some ‘ represents about 53% of the popultion of the 6 counties of Northern Ireland and is an actual minority approx 45% in all of Ulster (9 counties).

    The logical follow on from the political position of Northern Ireland’s Unionists i.e those who are fundamentally opposed from any political union ever with the Republic must be to seek repartition of the present 6 county State so that they can have their ‘local’ Unionist majority in a smaller area East of the Bann .

    Unfortunately their present ‘financial’ impotence and demographic weakness as well as a general lack of outside support for such a move would seem to preclude them going down that path . Some of the spirits may be willing but the flesh is thinning out and the gumption would appear to be long gone .

    Instead it’ll be a long slow drawn out politically divided ‘limboland ‘ neither one thing nor the other , unable and powerless to take the actions needed to rebuild the province’s economy or to provide the high paying jobs that the educated young people of the future will have to seek either in the UK or the Republic or further overseas .

    But hey it could be worse 🙂

  • Greenflag

    ‘but one fact remains, the Ulster people were going to decide their own future, not Dublin or Westminster.’

    Not quite the truth . More accurate to say that ‘some’ of the people of Ulster were going to decide the future of Ulster and indeed of Ireland . This ‘some “represented about 51% of the Ulster population (9 counties in 1920) . Today this ‘some ‘ represents about 53% of the popultion of the 6 counties of Northern Ireland and is an actual minority approx 45% in all of Ulster (9 counties).

    The logical follow on from the political position of Northern Ireland’s Unionists i.e those who are fundamentally opposed from any political union ever with the Republic must be to seek repartition of the present 6 county State so that they can have their ‘local’ Unionist majority in a smaller area East of the Bann .

    Unfortunately their present ‘financial’ impotence and demographic weakness as well as a general lack of outside support for such a move would seem to preclude them going down that path . Some of the spirits may be willing but the flesh is thinning out and the gumption would appear to be long gone .

    Instead it’ll be a long slow drawn out politically divided ‘limboland ‘ neither one thing nor the other , unable and powerless to take the actions needed to rebuild the province’s economy or to provide the high paying jobs that the educated young people of the future will have to seek either in the UK or the Republic or further overseas . This situation is a the root of Unionist malaise and continuing unease and uncertainty as regards the future . Now that Paisley is on the way out we can only expect that malaise to grow further . IMO.

    But hey it could be worse ? Well could’nt it ?

  • Greenflag

    Moderator -Please delete No 1 above -Feb 22, 2008 @ 10:44 PM

    duplication 🙁

  • ‘but one fact remains, the Ulster people were going to decide their own future, not Dublin or Westminster.’

    If only …

    That “future” is by courtesy of £51.5B from the UK Treasury, which I reckon is about £30,000 a skull.

    Then there’s the odd loose change:

    £211M from the European Regional Development Fund;
    £114M from the European Social Fund;
    €333M from European Structural Funds (Peace III Programme);
    €256M from the Special EU Programmes Body (Cross Border Territorial Co-operation).

    No wonder you can afford all those special advisers, constituency offices, the highest rate of public spending and the lowest levels of local revenue in the archipelago. Dewi in Wales and I in London (on behalf of the average across England and Wales) are paying more than twice the total household taxation that applies in NI.

    The rest of us are not looking for any gratitude (we’ve learned from history), but advise the re-arranging of the following into a well-known phrase or saying:

    luck
    push
    your
    don’t.

  • Elvis Parker

    Remember folks the GFA settled the constitutional issue. Irish nationalism lost and in return was given a temporary right to be in the government of NI.
    No one of consequence in politics believes there will ever be a UI so lets forget the history lessons and voodoo economics.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Malcolm

    Given the latest revelations in just how loyal Unionist politicians are to the half-crown, in ripping off the British taxpayer, I’d reckon pushing their luck is something that they take for granted. I wonder if any British newspapers will see fit to tell the great british public just how loyal these guys really are.

    >>attracts Catholic-haters? If there is a bad side to the order marching along the Queen’s highway, it’s that they attract Republican bigots to protest against their beliefs and culture.<< Aye, many of these bigots have to go so far as to trip over their own doorsteps. You are not a serious person, the trick for being a wind up merchant or loonie is at least to give us a laugh. This you have singularly failed to do.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]”This ‘some “represented about 51% of the Ulster population (9 counties in 1920) . Today this ‘some ‘ represents about 53% of the popultion of the 6 counties of Northern Ireland and is an actual minority approx 45% in all of Ulster (9 counties).” [/i]

    Greenflag, would love to see the source

  • Reader

    Malcolm Redfellow: Dewi in Wales and I in London (on behalf of the average across England and Wales) are paying more than twice the total household taxation that applies in NI.
    Well, it depends on whether you are producers or consumers (e.g. Civil Servants). Also, it depends on each individual’s level of economic activity.
    Personally, as a tax paying, NI paying, ratepaying, VAT-paying employee in the private sector, working for a profitable, taxpaying, UK company, I reckon I am paying my way. And you and Dewi aren’t going to dictate how I should place my vote. I have that political position, at least, in common with my nationalist neighbours.

  • ozy

    “And no Irishman worthy of the name would take his place at a Grand Durbar, a.k.a. Commonwealth Summit.”

    So the President and Taoiseach of the Republic – both of whom have spoken favourably about rejoining the Commonwealth – are not “Irishmen worth of the name” in your view?

  • lib2016

    There’s an interesting report in today’s Irish Times (page 10)reporting that in an ‘interactive game’ available at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam unionists are given as examples of Nazi tolitarianism, apartheid in South Africa and other despots in an interactive learning game for children and parents asking whether it is right for them to walk in Catholic areas.

    We’ve had 30 odd years of war and the propaganda that goes with it. Now the British ‘cover’ that supported the guys with the big guns is vanishing and all the lies about who is or is not a corrupt fascist will disappear with it. We saw Holy Cross etc. and there is no onesided foregiveness.

    It is no longer possible to freeze the Irish out forever and anyone who tries will destroy themselves. Now, what was wrong with love and peace again? 😉

  • DK

    So lets get this straight…. nationalism is OK for the Scots, the Welsh, the Irish, even the English. But an Ulster or “Northern Irish” nationalism is not allowed.

  • agh

    UI by 1916? Lol, I don’t think so! With 20% of catholics pretty comfortable with their status in the UK, the future looks bright.

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/2006/Political_Attitudes/NIRELAND.html

    But keep scrapping for the crumbs from the SF propaganda table, it gives us all a chuckle.

  • lib2016

    A “Northern Irish” nationalism has never existed, instead we had a series of choices – either ‘Protestant British’ which left out half the population, or Ulster-Scots which also had sectarian overtones. There have been attempts to build something more inclusive and there’s still time to work out something on other lines which might be more inclusive.

    It would need to be something a bit more friendly than screaming fascist mafia at everyone with whom one disagrees. I don’t know how much this is just a style of disagreement and how much is genuine opinion. It isn’t calculated to get us anywhere.

  • lib2016

    agh,

    There will be a nationalist majority at Stormont by 2016 and what happens after that is what we are trying to discuss. You can do what the UUP have done up until now and deny that things are changing or you can try and build political bridges. It’s entirely up to you.

  • Greenflag

    ‘There will be a nationalist majority at Stormont by 2016 and what happens after that is what we are trying to discuss.

    The only way there will be a ‘nationalist ‘ majority is you you give up the ‘discussing’ and get down to breeding .

    ‘It’s entirely up to you.’

    As you say yourself 🙂

    If the missus or girlfriend objects you can tell her it’s for ‘Ireland’

    Why not settle for a fair ‘repartition’ . A lot less challenging from most perspectives including the political , economic , horizontal aspects no doubt 🙂 Will also save time , energy and sheer aggravation as well . Probably better for ‘nationalist’ health concerns etc etc.

  • Livetoseeit

    2016 is unlikely but 2022 is a strong possibility. The next assembly will probably see unionists (not incl alliance)in a minority & 2 elections after that…….then it’s a referendum. I think it’ll come down to the garden centre unionists in the end not outbreeding.

    May you live in interesting times.

  • PaddyReilly

    Why not settle for a fair ‘repartition’

    Why bring the element of fairness into partition at this late stage? It has never happened before. The essence of partition is unfairness, it is perpetrated as a land-grab.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “Why not settle for a fair ‘repartition’.”

    I think the key word here is “fair”. Paddy Reilly correctly points out that there’s no reason to hope that any repartition would be “fair”.

    Now, I don’t happen to believe that repartition, fair or otherwise, is in any sense desirable, but setting that aside, it’s fairly obvious that a repartition regarded as “fair” by enough people, is not possible.

    Sorry Greenflag, I know it’s a favourite of yours, but a “fair repartition” isn’t possible, even if it were desirable.

    I think at this stage in our history we have learned that there are no quick fixes and no clean getaways in Ireland.

  • Why in the world would anyone propose a “repartition”, except to ensure that all of the last century would have to be revisited?

    The whole infrastructure, communications, welfare, life-styles have been predicated to the aftermath of 1922. Nobody in either, or any government could conceive of that legacy being eliminated. What we now need are years of “peaceful co-existence”, perhaps a bit of gentle wooing, and one enormous amount of thinking and planning across the divide. Consider the example of Germany: there a division is still healing after nearly two decades and billions of DMs and Euros.

    Anyway, it is sincerely to be hoped that if and when the whole 1922 mess fades into history, the parliamentary draftmen do a better job than they did with Berwick-on-Tweed or Cayo Blanco de Sur (a.k.a. Ernst-Thälmann-Insel, which is worth looking up, for one of the most bizarre bits of geo-politics ever, and a sure-fire pub-quiz answer).

  • Greenflag

    ‘Why bring the element of fairness into partition at this late stage? It has never happened before.’

    There’s always a first time for everything . Watch and see how the Americans and Russians ‘repartition’ the new Kosovo. Most of Kosovos 10% Serb minority are just south of the Serbia border . It’ll make a lot of sense for the Kosovars to hand these ‘alienated’ Serbs ‘ back to Serbia in return for the latters ‘freedom ‘ to unite with Albania .

    ‘ but setting that aside, it’s fairly obvious that a repartition regarded as “fair” by enough people, is not possible.’

    I suggested ‘fair’ . That does not mean any repartition has to suit 100% of the people on either side .

    ‘Why in the world would anyone propose a “repartition”, except to ensure that all of the last century would have to be revisited?’

    Naw it’s just a matter of going back and doing the job right this time . Putting a neutral international agency in charge of a redrawing of the border would be essential as would the support of both governments. Could be a cheaper and less bloody alternative than a TUV unilateral declaration of ‘independence’ followed by chaos .

    ‘Consider the example of Germany: there a division is still healing after nearly two decades and billions of DMs and Euros. ‘

    Not a good example . First all former East Germans are politically German . All residents of Northern Ireland are not ‘politically’ Irish . Some prefer the British ‘moniker’.Secondly the West German economy was over 12 times the size of the East German economy and had 4 times the population . The Irish Republic’s economy is probably 5 to 6 times that of Northern Ireland but the population is about 2.5 times that of NI. Thus it would be far less expensive for the Republic to afford a fair repartition of NI than a UI.

    Anyway it will probably only be a consideration if and when the present Assembly (House of Cards) collapses .

  • PaddyReilly

    As there are several million persons of Irish Catholic descent in Britain and little more than 330,000 in Northern Ireland who can be bothered to vote against Nationalism, surely the fairest and most convenient border is the Irish sea?