Ahem…

This headline in the Belfast Telegraph caused me to pause and stare for a while. It is clear that someone’s delusional, and it’s not Gerry Adams. Or at least not in the way the headline implies: “West Belfast MP says Sinn Fein leader is “delusional”. It would seem that Ards MLA has, in the mind of someone, transmogrified into the MP for West Belfast. Nice guy Simon Hamilton may be, but I can’t see that happening in a hundred years. A united Ireland on the other hand….

,

  • harry

    A united Ireland on the other hand….

    will be achieved by 2016.

  • Gerry lvs Castro

    Of course it will Harry. The martians will have landed, Osama will be the US president and (least likely of all) England will win the world cup.

  • perci

    Its not the only mistake Hamilton makes when he points the finger at “Sinn Fein’s delusional diatribe”.

    A diatribe is a bitter and abusive speech.
    There was nothing bitter or abusive in GA’s assesment of where to go next on the road to a united ireland.

    So upon close forensic examination of the text, one can reasonably conclude it was in fact Hamilton who wrote an article engaging in a diatribe against Gerry Adams’ aspirations.

    It seems for some just the mention of irish unity brings out the worst in them. But they always end up falling flat on their faces.

    Well cleared that one up then !

  • Mike C

    Pretty sure Hamilton has rehashed this tired mantra before. Does he have any other press statements on the subject? At least he can operate cut and paste. First I’ve heard him described as a nice guy…”tickle me elmo” certainly.

  • Mick Fealty

    Lighten up guys… I’m off for my tea…

  • Twinbrook

    the silence of all the parties on water charges is deafening!

    We are charged the most for basic commodities, electricity, gas, petrol, foodstuffs and OUR politicians talk about Anything but the issue which affect all the working class…the money in our pockets..

    To paraphrase Connolly…

    It doesn`t matter what flag flies!!!!!

  • perci

    what we really need is a good debate on irish unity, so we can hear the careful well-argued points from unionism.
    “playing the man” calling GAdams “delusional” would seem to indicate that Hamilton deep down is worried that it isn’t a dream.
    Why is he getting upset?

  • Mick, I see the ‘diatribe’ is filed under world/europe. Perhaps the sub-editor had spent to long in the local hostelry!!

    Little wonder the PRM has lost its way. Adams is navigating without a map 🙂

  • McGrath

    The 2011 census will tell all. But Unionists will probably dismiss it. In fact it will probably be dismissed before the end of this thread.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Twinbrook:

    the silence of all the parties on water charges is deafening!

    That’s because they’re going to reintroduce them.

    Whether there are water charges or no water charges is a red herring. The question you should be asking is, why are you paying so much tax (rates, water charges, and all the rest) and where is it being spent ?

  • Reader

    McGrath: In fact it will probably be dismissed before the end of this thread.
    Glad to oblige: 2011 hasn’t happened yet.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The 2011 census will tell all. But Unionists will probably dismiss it. In fact it will probably be dismissed before the end of this thread.

    Indeed. Rather than argue the merits of Irish reunification, you’d prefer to wallow in the glory of winning in a sectarian headcount. Is that what the new Ireland is all about ?

  • PaddyReilly

    The 2011 census will tell all. But Unionists will probably dismiss it. In fact it will probably be dismissed before the end of this thread.

    Entirely true: it will be dismissed even by those who are not Unionists. A census is an enquiry into various matters including religious affiliation but not including voting intention. It is therefore of only marginal importance. Try instead looking at the results of the 2009 European Parlaiment elections, and calculating the swing from the last ones.

  • slug

    “The 2011 census will tell all.”

    You sad, sad people.

  • PaddyReilly

    You’d prefer to wallow in the glory of winning in a sectarian headcount. Is that what the new Ireland is all about ?

    Maybe so: but the old (Northern) Ireland is only about wallowing in the glory of winning a sectarian headcount within borders which have been rigged to make this victory inevitable. So here at least there is a small improvement.

  • McGrath

    Indeed. Rather than argue the merits of Irish reunification, you’d prefer to wallow in the glory of winning in a sectarian headcount. Is that what the new Ireland is all about ?

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Mar 03, 2008 @ 09:03 PM

    So in your view democracy is a sectarian headcount?

  • McGrath

    Entirely true: it will be dismissed even by those who are not Unionists. A census is an enquiry into various matters including religious affiliation but not including voting intention. It is therefore of only marginal importance. Try instead looking at the results of the 2009 European Parlaiment elections, and calculating the swing from the last ones.

    Posted by PaddyReilly on Mar 03, 2008 @ 09:05 PM

    A United Ireland will be decided by referendum / border pole, not by party affiliation.

  • McGrath

    Indeed. Rather than argue the merits of Irish reunification, you’d prefer to wallow in the glory of winning in a sectarian headcount. Is that what the new Ireland is all about ?

    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Mar 03, 2008 @ 09:03 PM

    Isn’t that how Northern Ireland came about? There was no discussion of the merits of partition at that time.

  • LOL

    Considering the same silly article had previously appeared in the Irish Independent and then in the previously strong Unionist Belfast Telegraph, maybe Gerry’s not so delusional after all.

    http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/world-news/europe/west-belfast-mp-says-sinn-fein-leader-is-delusional-1304037.html

  • Twinbrook

    CS.

    “The question you should be asking is, why are you paying so much tax (rates, water charges, and all the rest) and where is it being spent ?”

    To gave our MLA`s and their families a gravy train that would shock even the Southern establishment.

  • NP

    “The 2011 census will tell all. But Unionists will probably dismiss it. In fact it will probably be dismissed before the end of this thread.”

    Seem to remeber republicans banging on about this as a result of the 2001 census. The expected “time bomb” didnt happen. Maybe its too many female hormones in Lough Neagh

  • PaddyReilly

    The expected “time bomb” didnt happen. Maybe its too many female hormones in Lough Neagh

    It may be that you’re looking at the census from the wrong end.
    The 2001 census found 16,773 Protestants over the age of 85 and only 6,400 Catholics. Most of these, we may reasonably assume, are no longer with us.

    It continues in this manner until we get to (today’s) 31 year olds, where the Catholics are in the majority. So the time bomb is not about when Catholics outbreed Protestants (they have done that already in the younger generation) but about when Protestants outdie Catholics. So following this through we may reasonably expect that by 2016, unless there is a major immigration of Protestants from elsewhere, or emigration of Catholics to elsewhere, there will be more Catholics than Protestants on the electoral register.

    Whether this means that there will then be a United Ireland is a different question, on which I cannot really comment. The equation, % of Catholics in the population = Nationalist vote works best in areas where Catholics/Nationalist are in the majority. In areas where Catholics are a small minority they do not ordinarily produce a Nationalist vote equal to their numbers.

  • McGrath

    The 2011 census will tell all.”

    You sad, sad people.

    Posted by slug on Mar 03, 2008 @ 09:11 PM

    My suggestion about the 2011 census is to try an get a better indicator of the accuracy of this 2016 date, i.e when Catholics are supposed to outnumber protestants in Northern Ireland.

    I fully realise a simple majority is not enough and not just because a vote may not follow religiously affiliated lines. A premature referendum and failure to accommodate Northern Unionists just puts Northern Ireland into a 50 year retro time-warp.

    Further than that, I feel the biggest obstacle would be for the Republic of Ireland to accept Northern Ireland back. Northern Ireland wasn’t worth fighting over in 1920.

  • T.Ruth

    United Ireland by 2012. We won’t even have a decision on the stadium by then. Adams must think Unionists and Loyalists have gone away.
    The peace is threatened by Sinn Fein denials of the real nature of its armed struggle-a squalid,sectarian,fascist campaign to murder fellow citizens.We need to work together to achieve peace-it will not be built on dishonesty and is not helped by IRA activists killing at will,laundering fuel at will,robbing banks and businesses at will,and not helped by a leader constsantly trying to raise the stakes and the political temperature.Lets concentrate on building a new Northern Ireland where all our children and grandchildren can enjoy peace.
    T.Ruth

  • cynic

    ” So following this through we may reasonably expect that by 2016, unless there is a major immigration of Protestants from elsewhere, or emigration of Catholics to elsewhere, there will be more Catholics than Protestants on the electoral register.”

    Paddy, I am sorry but you have been sniffing the same stuff as Gerry.

    You can ‘reasonably expect’ if you wish but it’s all a lot more complex that you suggest, depending upon rates of differential immigration / emigration and (dare I whisper it) the horrible fact that it isnt just a sectarian headcount. Yes, I know its hard to believe but many Catholics might just vote against a United Ireland (as they have in the past) and some Prods might support one.

    All the statistical studies suggest a majority for a united ireland is unlikley on say a 25 year view. But hold onto your dreams. you are entitled to them and its a noble cause. Just dont get too disappointed.

    PS what odds are the bookies offering? Thats usually a good indicator!

  • An Lochlannach

    Paddy Reilly wrote: ‘So following this through we may reasonably expect that by 2016, unless there is a major immigration of Protestants from elsewhere, or emigration of Catholics to elsewhere…’

    Are there any figures for the number of Northerners currently living in the Republic? I assume that these would mostly be Catholic or Nationalist or whatever label you’d like to ascribe them. I’ve heard a lot about the Protestant exodus to Britain, but little about the Catholics moving south.

  • dewi

    Differential in 2001 was 157,000 if I remember correctly. Maybe 60,000 Eastern European in-migrants, 50,000 excess Protestant deaths and maybe 10,000 more Catholic births.
    Agree with all who say not necessary straightforward effect on border poll however I don’t think that’s the point. A nationalist led Stormont will surely lead the Ulster Scots people toward a United Ireland. Bertie surely better than Gerry?