“Since the Committee was unable to reach consensus..”

I mapped out the background to this last night, including why Sinn Féin continue to maintain that May 2008 was a commitment to a deadline rather than the target date the St Andrew’s Agreement describes, but as expected the Assembly and Executive Review Committee has failed to agree on a date for requesting the devolution of policing and justice powers. I’m assuming the Assembly debate has ended, but there isn’t a record of the vote yet. Adds The full debate and resolution of the Assembly to accept the report is here – Interestingly the report was also commended to the House by the deputy chairman of the committee, Sinn Féin MLA, Raymond McCartney. – From the Committee’s report

Issue 5: Timing of the devolution of policing and justice matters
68. The political parties represented on the Committee had different views on the timing of devolution of policing and justice matters, and given those diverse opinions, the Committee was unable to reach consensus on this issue.

69. Since the Committee was unable to reach consensus on the timing of devolution of policing and justice matters, and this report includes recommendations about further political negotiations, the Committee was unable to reach a conclusion as to whether the Assembly will make a request for the transfer of policing and justice matters before 1 May 2008.

Recommendation 41
The Committee recommends that the political parties commit to further discussions to agree when a request might be made for the devolution of policing and justice matters.

The Irish Times report notes that it isn’t the only issue they failed to agree on

While the British and Irish Governments will be disappointed but not surprised that the committee has been unable to agree to the transfer by May 1st, they will take heart from the report’s call for more talks.

Officials in London and Dublin will also take comfort that committee members were able to agree on some of the mechanics of policing and justice devolution.

MLAs considered four ministerial models for a single policing and justice department.

These were:

A department with a single minister in charge;
Two ministers of joint and equal standing running the department;
A policing and justice department with a minister and junior minister at the helm, with the positions rotated;
A department with a minister and deputy minister nominated by an MLA and drawn from the two largest parties from the unionist and nationalist traditions.

However, they were unable to settle on a preferred model and arrangements for choosing a minister or ministers and called for the talks to resolve these issues.

Adds Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, is optimistic..

Shaun Woodward said: “Progress is being made on the devolution of policing and justice.

“Our polling makes it clear that the majority of people in Northern Ireland want this to happen and the Chief Constable, the person responsible for delivering policing on the ground, has also said that powers should be devolved.

“I welcome the publication of the Committee report and the debate in the Assembly.

“The report contains clear decisions about structures and what powers will be devolved.

“It also calls on political parties to meet to discuss outstanding issues to complete devolution and the Government stands ready to facilitate these talks.”

That would be this poll..

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  • shankly’s socialism

    It is a cop out of epic proportions.

    A committee sits for months and months and decides nothing, any one of us could have written such a report in minutes.

    Agree to transfer all of the non contentious functions
    Say you need more discussion on anything anyone objected to
    Say you need more discussion on the model
    Say you need more discussion on the number of ministers
    Continue to say you need further discussion on anything that anyone raised any issue with.

    How exactly are they going to find a solution if they cant even agree in a small group behind closed doors.

  • cut the bull

    Shock horror

    Another committee that can’t decide anyhting.
    Another motion that got republican’s no where.
    Another ploy to get your last vote, promised a lot , but delivered nothing.
    Another load of bull shit.

  • cut the bull

    Irish language Act DUP says No
    Long Kesh stadium DUP says No
    Devolving policing and justice DUP says No

    Some things never, never, never change.

    How would any one expect the DUP to behave especially when it has been gifted with a permanent veto.

    The Dup will have no fear of a Sinn Féin veto. Unionists in reality have what they want Republicans signed up to and administering british rule in this state.

    They would gladly forego a soccer stadium every week of the year. Think about it.

  • ulsterfan

    The comments made by Adams today were very unhelpful.
    He pointed out that republicans could as an act of retaliation veto the building of a stadium in east Belfast.
    You use your veto to hurt me politically and I can do the same to hurt you seems to be the best he can do.
    The unionists gave good reasons for not agreeing the transfer of powers while Adams simply tried to get political revenge.
    What a way to lead a party. No wonder some think his days of leadership are drawing to a close if this is the best he can do.

  • Billy

    Ulsterfan

    I’m no Sinn Fein fan but in case you hadn’t noticed, most of the blocking by veto to date has come from the DUP – Irish Language Act, P&J;, and possibly the Maze.

    That’s the problem with this mandatory coalition. In truth it hasn’t delivered anything – any decisions requiring genuine leadership have been deferred to a 12 month review. The only MLA who has tackled anything with real courage is Margaret Ritchie.

    Personally, I’m not bothered about an Irish Language act. However, the DUP have pandered to their backwoodsmen on this issue and are now doing so on P&J;. This new reported rejection of the Maze is a clear response to the Dromore result.

    If the DUP want to use their veto to block anything Nationalists are in favour of then they can hardly complain when they get the same in response.

    Personally, I find it all a bit childish. However, you need to realise that the days of “croppie lie down” are over. It was the DUP/Unionist MLAs who started throwing their veto around.

    I don’t support Sinn Fein but, until Unionist MLAs start playing with a straight bat, I see no reason why Nationalists shouldn’t reciprocate with the same tactics as Unionists.

  • ulsterfan

    Billy
    Unionists at least give reasons for their opposition to these proposals while SF simply do it out of spite.
    That is the difference in approach

  • Comrade Stalin

    I am not a unionist, but I really don’t see why Sinn Fein should be allowed to get their way on such ridiculous ideas as :

    – putting a stadium at the Maze, a barely-accessible location with bad transport links and no infrastructure, just so that they can jerk off to a hunger strike memorial

    – the stupid Irish Language Act, supported mainly by people who barely speak a word of it. I note that Sinn Fein newssheets in North Belfast are not half written in Irish. They are written in 90% English because that is the only language that most of the SF electorate can actually read. Why force it on everyone else ?

    – on the issue of Policing and Justice powers, the parties should be having talks about it. Neither the DUP position (freeze it for a while) or the SF position (the British should go over their heads) are really sensible.

    – don’t forget the nonsense over the 11+!

    There are entirely justifiable reasons to oppose SF’s ideas. I am not saying that the DUP are not playing politics, but even if they are, it’s hardly as if SF are above doing the same themselves.

  • BonarLaw

    Billy

    “That’s the problem with this mandatory coalition”

    No, it’s a problem you get community designation and parallel consent. And if you are a defender of the status quo then it’s not actually a problem 🙂

  • cut the bull

    Ulsterfan

    Unionists at least give reasons for their opposition to these proposals while SF simply do it out of spite.

    I suppose SECTARIANISM is as good a reason as any, it beats spite as you see it hands down.

  • ulsterfan

    cut the bull

    There is no evidence to suggest the motive is sectarian on the part of Unionists . Please follow the arguments they make.
    You are bereft of reasons to counteract the accusations made against SF.

  • dewi

    No sectarian Unionist motive? Run that past me again! The whole movement/people/politic/tribe is solely based on supremacist sectarianism. The public statements of unionism’s most “liberal” spokesmen would be illegal if addressed against people of a different colour. Ulsterfan – just finished Moloney’s Paisley book – I freely admit to limited knowledge of Ulster Unionism – trouble is the more I learn the worse it gets – the whole thing is based on hate.

  • Comrade Stalin

    dewi:

    The whole movement/people/politic/tribe is solely based on supremacist sectarianism.

    Yes, and where you have a government consisting of two halves, both of which have the above characteristics, it’s not hard to see how you run into problems. Republicanism is also based on supremacist sectarianism, but it’s a different kind of supremacy – a self-righteous, holier than thou kind.

  • willowfield

    I’m no Sinn Fein fan but …

    I don’t support Sinn Fein but …

    Interesting the number of times Billy begins his posts with such remarks …

    Dewi

    No sectarian Unionist motive? Run that past me again! The whole movement/people/politic/tribe is solely based on supremacist sectarianism. The public statements of unionism’s most “liberal” spokesmen would be illegal if addressed against people of a different colour. Ulsterfan – just finished Moloney’s Paisley book – I freely admit to limited knowledge of Ulster Unionism – trouble is the more I learn the worse it gets – the whole thing is based on hate.

    From reading the above, it would unfortunately seem from such sectarian demonising that the hatred is emanating from yourself.

  • willowfield

    “The whole movement/people/politic/tribe is solely based on supremacist sectarianism”

    Reading that again, it’s incredible that someone would make such an overtly sectarian remark. Such blanket slurs against entire groups of people are normally associated with racists and other such bigots.

  • cut the bull

    Ulsterfan

    The argued existance of an IRA army council, is the reason DUP claim it wont support the devolution of policing and justice.

    The same DUP regularly name certain MLA’s and Ministers as members of that army council.By DUP standards these people are fit to govern this state but are not fit to over see policing and justice. Strange logic.

    The Irish language Act. The DUP will not support this because it calims the language has been politicised. Whoopy doo, what drivel.

    This is a direlection of juty on behalf of Edwin Poots, who is doing his best to put a cultural strangle hold on the Irish culture through his failure to support the Irish Language Act.

  • willowfield

    “The Irish culture”

    What does this mean?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Willowfield,

    in relation to your point to Dewi about his comments “The whole Movement/people/politic/tribe is solely based on supremacist sectarianism”

    Lets assume for a moment that a large part of Unioinst ideology is based on what it does not like/it hates ie ROI and Catholics.(There is after all a large amount of evidence to back this up.) Are you saying that it is sectarian to point this out?

    Please dont reply with the “Nationalists are just as bad” – lets examine the validity of the statement in it’s own right.

  • cut the bull

    Willowfield,

    Language, music, dance, sport, art, writing, story telling, our being.

  • ulsterfan

    Dewi

    Before pontificating on matters where on your own admission your knowledge is scant it would be best to acquire some first hand information and not rely on what some author had to say. This in itself makes your arguments very unconvincing.
    Keep on learning and some day you may see the light.

    cut the bull

    Please give an example during the past 2 years where a sectarian remark was made by any Unionist Politician when debating ILA the Maze and the related subjects.

  • willowfield

    Cut the bull

    So “the Irish culture” means “language, music, dance, sport, art, writing, story telling, our being”. Gaelic language, then, by your own definition is only a small part of it. So how is Poots trying to put a “cultural strangle hold [sic]” on “the Irish culture” by not bringing forward an Irish language bill, given that his department spends millions on other means of promoting the Irish language, not to mention music, dance, sport, art, writing and story-telling (I’m not clear what it spends on “our being”)?

  • willowfield

    Sammy Mc Nally

    Lets [sic] assume for a moment that a large part of Unioinst [sic] ideology is based on what it does not like/it hates ie ROI and Catholics.(There is after all a large amount of evidence to back this up.) Are you saying that it is sectarian to point this out?

    It’s sectarian and quasi-racist to demonise an entire people with a blanket and unfounded accusation that they are “solely based on supremacist sectarianism”.

    Such a comment is outrageous and reveals a nasty visceral prejudice, not unlike the kind of remarks one expects to hear from Nick Griffin about the Islamic community.

  • cut the bull

    Willowfield by the way you still havent answered one of my previous posts about Winifred Carney.

    I read up on her she was born in Bangor and raised on the AShore rd in North Belfast. She was secretary of the Textile Workers union and helped James Connolly when he was in Belfast to campaign for better pay and woking conditions for mill workers.

    She also campaigned for the rights of women to vote.

    She joined the Irish Citizen Army rising to the rank of Adjutant General and took part in the 1916 rising positioned within the GPO.

    She contested the 1918 Dáil Éireann elections in the Victoria ward in East Belfast.

    She married George McBride a former member of the UVF.

    Now would you agree that as she has a strong conection with Counties Antrim and Down and played a vital part in shaping the history of this city and Ireland. Would she in your view be a suitable person to have a commemorative statue of her placed in the grounds of the Assembly

  • cut the bull

    language is one of the main parts of any culture now dont be silly

  • willowfield

    language is one of the main parts of any culture now dont be silly

    I’m not being silly.

    I ask again, removing the word “small”: If “the Irish culture” means “language, music, dance, sport, art, writing, story telling, our being”. Gaelic language, then, by your own definition is only a part of it. So how is Poots trying to put a “cultural strangle hold [sic]” on “the Irish culture” by not bringing forward an Irish language bill, given that his department spends millions on other means of promoting the Irish language, not to mention music, dance, sport, art, writing and story-telling (I’m not clear what it spends on “our being”)?

  • willowfield

    Willowfield by the way you still havent [sic] answered one of my previous posts about Winifred Carney.

    I did. Try looking on the relevant thread.

  • cut the bull

    Was that an answer. I’ve heard of No, No, No, now its So,So,So.

  • cut the bull

    Ulsterfan
    Did you need to impose a two year time frame on your question?

  • willowfield

    I ask a third time.

    If “the Irish culture” means “language, music, dance, sport, art, writing, story telling, our being”. Gaelic language, then, by your own definition is only a part of it. So how is Poots trying to put a “cultural strangle hold [sic]” on “the Irish culture” by not bringing forward an Irish language bill, given that his department spends millions on other means of promoting the Irish language, not to mention music, dance, sport, art, writing and story-telling (I’m not clear what it spends on “our being”)?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Willows me old mucker,

    “It’s sectarian and quasi-racist to demonise an entire people with a blanket and unfounded accusation that they are “solely based on supremacist sectarianism”. ”

    You appear to have missed the point here – I was asking you the question that IF it were true that Unionist ideology was “solely based on supremacist sectarianism” would it not be have been reasonable for Dewi to point this out?

    Having established that we can then examine the evidence to back the contention up as there are various aspects of Unionists’ behaviour which many may feel is consistent with Dewi’s statement.

    I would contend that it is neither “sectarian” not “quasi-racist” to make his remarks provided they are based on study of, and inderstanding of, the relevant facts.

  • cut the bull

    I’m tempted to answer SO but that would only be silly would it not?

    The Irish Language Act is aimed at giving the Irish Language an equal status with the Enlgish language in this state through legislation.

    It would safe guard the rights of those who are educated through Irish, those who use it as their first language to coduct their affairs through the Medium of Irish.

    It would provide through legislation workers in places such as courts,post offices, banks, the Housing executive and all government departments, who would have the ability to speak Irish and work with and provide a service to Irish speakers.

  • Seimi

    Willowfield, your tiresome pedantry really does jar after a while. Language is an integral part of any culture, and well you know it. Edwin Poots is totally against the Irish language, seeing it as a Republican tool, wielded against his brand of Unionism. His objection to it is based on sectarianism and bigotry, and it is only your own blinkers which refuse to let you acknowledge that. Why are some people so afraid of this language? The Act itself won’t force anyone to speak or learn the language, it only safeguards it. I look forward to your usual dissection of this type of paragraph, complete with the usual – no it isn’t. Absolute rubbish. Prove it. Retract that scurrilous insult immediately! Yah-de-yah-de-yah.
    As for the comment made earlier by another poster about showing when anyone in the Assembly has made a sectarian remark against the ILA etc, a quick glance at the Hansard notes on David McNarry’s failed bid to ban Irish from the Assembly will show that he feels ‘sickened to his stomach’ whenever he hears Irish being spoken. Can this be taken as anything other than bigotted/sectarian?

  • cut the bull

    I suppose I can take it, that I will not be getting a logical answer to the Winifred Carney question.

  • willowfield

    Sammy McNally

    You appear to have missed the point here – I was asking you the question that IF it were true that Unionist ideology was “solely based on supremacist sectarianism” would it not be have been reasonable for Dewi to point this out?

    You weren’t asking me that question and so I haven’t missed the point: your question was whether it was sectarian for Dewi to make his accusation based on the assumed premise that “a large part of Unioinst [sic] ideology is based on what it does not like/it hates”. The answer to that question is yes, since – even if “a large part of Unioinst [sic] ideology is based on what it does not like/it hates” – as is the case of every “ideology”, Dewi is engaging in a blanket and unfounded demonisation of an entire people.

    Now, to answer your latest question – if it were true that unionist “ideology” was “solely based on supremacist sectarianism” would it not be have been reasonable for Dewi to point this out? – it would not have been unreasonable for Dewi to point this out, but then Dewi was not merely pointing that out: he was also demonising in blanket terms an entire people based on his perception of an “ideology”, defined in his terms, his perception of their relationship to that “ideology”, and his assumption of some kind of uniform sectarian attitude held by every single person whom he considers to be a unionist. It was no different to, say, demonising in blanket terms the entire Pakistani population of Britain because he believed Islam to be a religion based on supremacist sectarianism.

    Of course, it is disingenuous on your part to separate the reasoning of Dewi’s outrageous statement from its premise, because the premise (that unionism is “solely based on supremacist sectarianism”) is as much an essential part of the statement as the reasoning (“therefore the entire unionist people is “solely based on supremacist sectarianism”).

    In summary, BOTH the premise and the reasoning in Dewi’s statement are disgraceful, disgusting, sectarian and quasi-racist slurs.

    CUT THE BULL

    The Irish Language Act is aimed at giving the Irish Language an equal status with the Enlgish language in this state through legislation.

    There is no Irish Language Act. There is not even an Irish language bill. Therefore we do not know what the aim of such an Act is.

    It would safe guard [sic] the rights of those who are educated through Irish, those who use it as their first language to coduct their affairs through the Medium [sic] of Irish. It would provide through legislation workers in places such as courts,post offices, banks, the Housing executive and all government departments, who would have the ability to speak Irish and work with and provide a service to Irish speakers.

    How do you know?

    Now, please answer the question. This is now the FOURTH time of asking!

    If “the Irish culture” means “language, music, dance, sport, art, writing, story telling, our being”. Gaelic language, then, by your own definition is only a part of it. So how is Poots trying to put a “cultural strangle hold [sic]” on “the Irish culture” by not bringing forward an Irish language bill, given that his department spends millions on other means of promoting the Irish language, not to mention music, dance, sport, art, writing and story-telling (I’m not clear what it spends on “our being”)?

    I suppose I can take it, that I will not be getting a logical answer to the Winifred Carney question.

    I already told you that I have answered your questions on the relevant thread. If you wish to reopen that discussion, you are entirely at liberty so to do. But please do so on the relevant thread.

    SEIMI

    Language is an integral part of any culture, and well you know it.

    And?

    Edwin Poots is totally against the Irish language, seeing it as a Republican tool, wielded against his brand of Unionism. His objection to it is based on sectarianism and bigotry, and it is only your own blinkers which refuse to let you acknowledge that. Why are some people so afraid of this language? The Act itself won’t force anyone to speak or learn the language, it only safeguards it.

    Even if we were to accept what you say to be true, it doesn’t explain how – if “the Irish culture” means “language, music, dance, sport, art, writing, story telling, our being” – Poots is trying to put a “cultural strangle hold [sic]” on “the Irish culture” by not bringing forward an Irish language bill.

    If he were trying to put such a stranglehold on “the Irish culture”, why does he fund to the tune of millions not only the Gaelic language, but music, dance, sport, art, writing and story-telling?

  • Seimi

    Even if we were to accept what you say to be true, it doesn’t explain how – if “the Irish culture” means “language, music, dance, sport, art, writing, story telling, our being” – Poots is trying to put a “cultural strangle hold [sic]” on “the Irish culture” by not bringing forward an Irish language bill.

    Are you saying you don’t accept what I say? If not, what is your argument to the contrary?

    Poots’ refusal to even consider the Act effectively places obstacles in the way of the development of the language. Are you for or against this? And please don’t rhyme off the usual stuff about costs etc. Poots’ figures are based on the Free States expenditure on the language, amongst other things, and are therefore grossy over-inflated.
    Do you agree that Poots’ refusal to entertain the irish language is based on his own personal, and his party’s sectarian, boigotted attitude towards the indigineous language of this country and should therefore be condemned? Or will you come off with another diatribe about ‘NI is part of the UK, English is the official language’?

    And by the way, Poots himself does not administer any money to Irish language projects. His department does, as is its remit, and even then, it isn’t that much. Don’t try to make out that he is some benevolent uncle, lovingly handing over his change to the doting nieces and nephews, even the slightly worrying Gaelic one.

  • willowfield

    Are you saying you don’t accept what I say?

    Not entirely.

    If not, what is your argument to the contrary?

    I don’t believe that he is “totally against” the Gaelic language. I believe that he has a visceral suspicion and fear of it, but I do believe he is content to tolerate it at a certain level.

    I also don’t believe that his objection to Gaelic is entirely based on sectarianism and bigotry: I think he has valid and genuine political objections to the promotion of the Gaelic language, which he perceives, not unreasonably, as being partly for the purpose of undermining Northern Ireland’s British identity.

    It is also not true that “only my own blinkers” refuse to let me acknowledge what you say.

    Poots’ refusal to even consider the Act effectively places obstacles in the way of the development of the language.

    Poots cannot “consider” an Act. An Act can only be passed by the Assembly. Poots can only consider bringing forward a bill. And he did consider a bill: a draft bill was published and after a period of consultation he gave a statement to the Assembly about it. The outcome of his consideration may not have been to your liking, but that does not mean that he did not consider it.

    Are you for or against this?

    For or against what? I’m for the preservation of the Gaelic language. I’m against pointless legislation which is more about advancing Irish nationalism than about preserving the language.

    Do you agree that Poots’ refusal to entertain the irish language is based on his own personal, and his party’s sectarian, boigotted attitude towards the indigineous language of this country and should therefore be condemned? Or will you come off with another diatribe about ‘NI is part of the UK, English is the official language’?

    I believe that part of Poots’ opposition to Gaelic is based on his personal prejudices.

    And by the way, Poots himself does not administer any money to Irish language projects. His department does, as is its remit, and even then, it isn’t that much.

    Er, Poots is the minister responsible for his department! We live in a democracy: departments do not function independently of ministers!

    Don’t try to make out that he is some benevolent uncle, lovingly handing over his change to the doting nieces and nephews, even the slightly worrying Gaelic one.

    Not a problem: I have no intention of doing do.

    Now … I’ll make the point again … Even if we were to accept what you say about Poots to be true, it doesn’t explain how – if “the Irish culture” means “language, music, dance, sport, art, writing, story telling, our being” – Poots is trying to put a “cultural strangle hold [sic]” on “the Irish culture” by not bringing forward an Irish language bill. Does it?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Willows,

    so we are agreed that “it would not have been unreasonable for Dewi” to point out that Unionist ideology was solely based on supremacist sectarianism – provided it was true.

    As there is considerable body of evidence to back this up this contention it would serve you better to address this (Dewi’s) substantive point rather than simply launching into stream of verbal abuse.

  • Seimi

    Now … I’ll make the point again … Even if we were to accept what you say about Poots to be true, it doesn’t explain how – if “the Irish culture” means “language, music, dance, sport, art, writing, story telling, our being” – Poots is trying to put a “cultural strangle hold [sic]” on “the Irish culture” by not bringing forward an Irish language bill. Does it?

    You didn’t ask me this, nor did I make the comment. However, as I said earlier, language is an integral part of any culture. Therefore refusing to consider the Act is an impediment to the language’s development and preservation, and therefore is a blow to part of the culture. As Culture minister, he is in a position to do an enormous amount of good for his party’s image amongst the Irish speaking community (note I did not say nationalists or Republicans) by moving positively on this matter. He has refused to do this, instead resorting to the usual ‘Republicans have hijacked the Irish language issue’ comments. I actually agree that this has happened to a certain degree. This does not, however, take away from the fact that the Irish language is being attacked, by all elements of unionism, and by Poots and his party in particular. Sammy Wilson’s triumphalist comments yesterday show this yet again. I was raised speaking Irish as my first language, and have passed this gift on to my own children, and I find it’s treatment at the hands of politicians to be sickening.

    ‘I also don’t believe that his objection to Gaelic is entirely based on sectarianism and bigotry: I think he has valid and genuine political objections to the promotion of the Gaelic language, which he perceives, not unreasonably, as being partly for the purpose of undermining Northern Ireland’s British identity.’

    I’m afraid I find this staement totally laughable, as the vast majority of irish speakers learn and speak the language for the love of the language and to celebrate their Irishness. Celebrating your identity does not automatically mean you undermine another. I have no problem with someone saying they are British. That is their choice. Why is my choice of identity not respected in the same way?

    ‘And he did consider a bill: a draft bill was published and after a period of consultation he gave a statement to the Assembly about it. The outcome of his consideration may not have been to your liking, but that does not mean that he did not consider it.’

    His answer was no and was always going to be no. The reason why? because of his aversion, through sectarianism, bigotry or whatever, to the language and his pre-conceptions about it’s users.

  • willowfield

    Sammy McNally

    so we are agreed that “it would not have been unreasonable for Dewi” to point out that Unionist ideology was solely based on supremacist sectarianism – provided it was [sic] true.

    I can’t think of any circumstances where it would be unreasonable to point out the truth.

    As there is considerable body of evidence to back this up this contention it would serve you better to address this (Dewi’s) substantive point rather than simply launching into stream of verbal abuse.

    1. I don’t think that there is a considerable body of evidence to back up the contention that “unionist ideology” is “based solely on supremacist sectarianism”. Certainly Dewi did not provide any.

    2. I didn’t “simply launch into a stream of verbal use”: I justifiably and reasonably expressed shock and disdain at outrageous, sectarian and quasi-racist comments made by Dewi.

    Even if it were true – which it is not – that “unionist ideology” is “based solely on supremacist sectarianism”, that is not to what I was objecting. I was objecting to his conflation of this belief into a blanket condemnation of an entire people. As I pointed out, this would be no different to a Nick-Griffin-style blanket demonisation of the Islamic population based on a belief that Islam is a religion “based on supremacist sectarianism”.

    I must restate that your response to my condemnation of Dewi’s sectarianism and quasi-racism has been disingenuous.

    Seimi

    You didn’t ask me this, nor did I make the comment.

    No – but you did respond in such a way as to give the impression that you disagreed with the point I was making.

    However, as I said earlier, language is an integral part of any culture. Therefore refusing to consider the Act is an impediment to the language’s development and preservation, and therefore is a blow to part of the culture.

    But he didn’t refuse to consider the “Act”, therefore – by your own reasoning – there was no impediment to the language’s development and preservation, and no blow to part of the culture.

    And – again – even if there had been a “blow” to “part of the culture”, it does not follow that Poots is trying to put a “cultural strangle hold [sic]” on “the Irish culture” generally. And, indeed, his actions in other cultural spheres would indicate the opposite.

    As Culture minister, he is in a position to do an enormous amount of good for his party’s image amongst the Irish speaking community (note I did not say nationalists or Republicans) by moving positively on this matter. He has refused to do this, instead resorting to the usual ‘Republicans have hijacked the Irish language issue’ comments. I actually agree that this has happened to a certain degree. This does not, however, take away from the fact that the Irish language is being attacked, by all elements of unionism, and by Poots and his party in particular. Sammy Wilson’s triumphalist comments yesterday show this yet again. I was raised speaking Irish as my first language, and have passed this gift on to my own children, and I find it’s [sic] treatment at the hands of politicians to be sickening.

    Opting not to bring forward an Irish language bill is hardly an “attack” and it is not true to say that Gaelic is being attacked “by all elements of unionism”.

    ‘I also don’t believe that his objection to Gaelic is entirely based on sectarianism and bigotry: I think he has valid and genuine political objections to the promotion of the Gaelic language, which he perceives, not unreasonably, as being partly for the purpose of undermining Northern Ireland’s British identity.’
    I’m afraid I find this staement totally laughable, as the vast majority of irish speakers learn and speak the language for the love of the language and to celebrate their Irishness. Celebrating your identity does not automatically mean you undermine another. I have no problem with someone saying they are British. That is their choice. Why is my choice of identity not respected in the same way?

    The vast majority of Gaelic-speakers may well learn it for the love of the language, but that does not alter the fact that Irish nationalists are promoting it for the purpose of undermining Northern Ireland’s British identity.

    His answer was no and was always going to be no.

    Probably, but he still considered it and you said that he didn’t.

    The reason why? because of his aversion, through sectarianism, bigotry or whatever, to the language and his pre-conceptions about it’s [sic] users.

    As I said above, that’s only part of the reason. He had genuine and not unreasonable political objections, too.

    PS. I hope your Gaelic grammar is better than your English grammar.

  • cut the bull

    willowfield

    You dont answer questions by saying So.
    That is not an answer.

    The Irish language is possibly the strongest aspect of the Irish culture for those who being educated in Irish schools.

    Refusing to consider bringing about legislation which would treat the Irish language and those who speak it on an equal basis with those citizens who speak and are educated through the English language, has a negative knock on effect on other aspects of Irish culture.This in effect is strangling Irish culture by stealth

    This is particularly felt among chidren who are being educated in Irish language schools and adults who have been educated in those schools.

    Its as if they are some how children of a lesser God and their language is irrelevant.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Willows,

    “1. I don’t think that there is a considerable body of evidence to back up the contention that “unionist ideology” is “based solely on supremacist sectarianism”. Certainly Dewi did not provide any. ”

    Most modern histories of Non Iron will provide you with this ( including the book to which Dewi referred ) Do you not consider the fact that Unioinsts could elect an Anti-Catholic cleric as their main leader as further evidence?

    “outrageous, sectarian and quasi-racist comments made by Dewi”

    which comments are these?

  • willowfield

    CUT THE BULL

    The Irish language is possibly the strongest aspect of the Irish culture for those who being educated in Irish schools.

    And by your own reasoning, possibly not. And presumably not for those – the vast, vast majority – NOT being educated in Gaelic-language schools.

    Refusing to consider bringing about legislation which would treat the Irish language and those who speak it on an equal basis with those citizens who speak and are educated through the English language, has a negative knock on effect on other aspects of Irish culture.This in effect is strangling Irish culture by stealth

    He didn’t refuse to consider bringing legislation about, therefore – by your own reasoning – he is not “strangling Irish culture by stealth”. (By the way, everyone in NI is already treated equally, even if they speak Gaelic, so you are being a bit alarmist.)

    But you’re missing the point completely. You’ve already conceded that “the Irish culture” is far more than the Gaelic language, so how on earth could the mere absence of an Irish Language Act mean the “strangling” of Irish culture?

    It seems to me that you are conflating “the Irish culture” with the Gaelic language, or perhaps the “Gaelic culture”. That betrays a rather exclusive and unpleasant understanding of Irishness.

    SAMMY McNALLY

    Most modern histories of Non Iron will provide you with this

    They won’t.

    Do you not consider the fact that Unioinsts could elect an Anti-Catholic cleric as their main leader as further evidence?

    No. It does not follow that because some unionists elected at one time an anti-Catholic cleric as their main leader that therefore “unionist ideology” is “based solely on supremacist sectarianism”.

    which comments are these?

    Those which demonised all unionists as “being based solely on supremacist sectarianism”.

  • DK

    Dewi on unionists: “The whole movement/people/politic/tribe is solely based on supremacist sectarianism”

    They should be gassed for the vermin they are. At the very least re-education camps.

  • Democratic

    “Do you not consider the fact that Unioinsts could elect an Anti-Catholic cleric as their main leader as further evidence?”
    Remind me again of the history of Anti-British violence the leaders of main Nationalist party have been involved in and what this might say of that electorate?…..

  • Seimi

    ‘The vast majority of Gaelic-speakers may well learn it for the love of the language, but that does not alter the fact that Irish nationalists are promoting it for the purpose of undermining Northern Ireland’s British identity.’

    Have you any proof of this ‘fact’? Isn’t this exactly the type of blanket condemnation that you are arguing so vehemently against with other posters?

    ‘PS. I hope your Gaelic grammar is better than your English grammar.’

    Typical. Your arguments are so weak you have to resort to personal comments. This type of comment really does show you for what you are willowfield. Petty, very petty.

  • Dewi

    Please give an example during the past 2 years where a sectarian remark was made by any Unionist Politician when debating ILA the Maze and the related subjects.

    Donaldson: “If you vote TUV Dromore will end up like Drogheda”

    If someone said “Vote Labour or Birmingham will end up like Bangladesh” then there would be ructions.

    I was over the top in generalising my diatribe. Apologies – I should have referred to “mainstream political representatives” rather than the whole people – sorry again.

  • willowfield

    Dewi

    I was over the top in generalising my diatribe. Apologies – I should have referred to “mainstream political representatives” rather than the whole people – sorry again.

    I am glad you have apologised for your outrageous and obnoxious comments.

    But even dismissing “mainstream [unionist] political representatives” as “being based solely on supremacist sectarianism” is a scurrilous generalisation.

  • willowfield

    Seimi

    Have you any proof of this ‘fact’? Isn’t this exactly the type of blanket condemnation that you are arguing so vehemently against with other posters?

    It is not a “fact”: it is an observation on my part and it is based, at least partly, on comments by Irish nationalists. It is not a “blanket condemnation”: it is an observation; and I do not condemn Irish nationalists, or anyone else, for pursuing their goals, so long as they do so responsibly and peacefully. Equally, I do not condemn unionists for seeking to stymie the achievement of those goals, so long as they do so responsibly and peacefully.

    Typical.

    Of what?

    Your arguments are so weak you have to resort to personal comments.

    My arguments aren’t weak: far from it. Show me which arguments you claim to be weak. And I am not “resorting” to personal comments: I get irritated by childish and/or lazy grammatical errors and do not apologise for pointing them out. I don’t think there is any excuse for an educated person not to know that the possessive form of “its” does not take an apostrophe!

  • Seimi

    I will then re-paste your own words.

    ‘The vast majority of Gaelic-speakers may well learn it for the love of the language, but that does not alter the fact that Irish nationalists are promoting it for the purpose of undermining Northern Ireland’s British identity.’

    Can you see where you said it was a ‘fact’? I can. You may say that it is an ‘observation’, however you stated it was a fact.

    Also, this ‘observation’ of yours is based, at least partly, on comments by Irish nationalists. How many Irish nationalists would this be? All of them? And did they all say ‘I speak Irish to undermine the British identity of Northern Ireland’?

    Your arguments are based on pedantry and the picking apart of others’ words. Yet you conveniently ignore your own statements.

    I also make no apologies for my English grammar. And I certainly don’t want or need or appreciate somebody correcting me on it. So don’t do it. Your comment on my grammar was not included in order to keep the flow of any argument going. It was included as a personal one against me and I really can’t stand petty-minded people who engage in that sort of thing. Now, will you apologise?

  • Dewi

    “But even dismissing “mainstream [unionist] political representatives” as “being based solely on supremacist sectarianism” is a scurrilous generalisation”

    Generalisation – yes, but a fairly accurate one.
    Scurrilous – as in “expressing offensive reproach” – yes again, so ?

  • willowfield

    Seimi

    Can you see where you said it was a ‘fact’? I can. You may say that it is an ‘observation’, however you stated it was a fact.

    Well, it is the fact as I observe it.

    Also, this ‘observation’ of yours is based, at least partly, on comments by Irish nationalists. How many Irish nationalists would this be? All of them? And did they all say ‘I speak Irish to undermine the British identity of Northern Ireland’?

    No, not all of them, but those involved in the Provisional movement which now leads nationalism.

    I also make no apologies for my English grammar.

    That is an unfortunate indictment on the sloppy attitude of many today and, indeed, of the inadequacies of our schools. I will apologise for the way in which I pointed out your grammatical errors, but not for pointing them out (someone has to try and maintain standards).

    Dewi

    Generalisation – yes, but a fairly accurate one.

    It’s not fairly accurate.

    Scurrilous – as in “expressing offensive reproach” – yes again, so ?

    As in “untrue or unfair, insulting and designed to damage a person’s reputation”.

  • Dewi

    As in “untrue or unfair, insulting and designed to damage a person’s reputation”. – by your definition not scurrilous then because it’s true and shockingly casually so.
    Willow, is Donaldson’s statement re. Drogheda that of a bloke with no sectarian feelings?

  • Seimi

    ‘Well, it is the fact as I observe it.’

    Your observation of something does not make it a fact.

    ‘No, not all of them, but those involved in the Provisional movement which now leads nationalism.’

    Are you honestly saying you spoke to each and every person involved in the Provisional movement? And each and every one of them claimed to speak Irish as a way of undermining Northern Ireland’s British identity? See how pedantry works willowfield?

    ‘That is an unfortunate indictment on the sloppy attitude of many today and, indeed, of the inadequacies of our schools. I will apologise for the way in which I pointed out your grammatical errors, but not for pointing them out (someone has to try and maintain standards).’

    This is a site for discussion on Northern Irish politics and culture, not on the niceties of English grammar. Unless you wish to start a thread on that subject, I would suggest you correct other peoples’ grammar in your head and stop trying to undermine others’ arguments by correcting their grammar. I don’t expect you to apologise for noticing a mistake in grammar, however I would like an apology for trying to make a personal attack on me in such a petty-minded manner.

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Put the handbags down and try to get back to the actual topic.

  • Seimi

    Sorry mom, we’ll play nice 🙂

    What was the topic again? 🙂

    Willowfield, if it was proved to you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the majority of Irish language speakers were not speaking the language for anything other than a genuine love for it and as a way of celebrating their identity, would you support their calls for a strong right-based legislative act?

  • cut the bull

    You are doing your utmost to mix. I think I’ll give you a wide berth as no matter what answer you are given, by any one you do your best to ignore it or at least twist it into some form to suit your own thinking.

    How could I be conflating a the Gaeilge language which is the language of Ireland with Irish culture. Gaeilge is an important part of Irish culture, it is in no way a seperate entity. Do not be silly

    You have got all the attention which I’m willing to give to you today.

    All the best

  • Mayoman

    Seimi: I think you’ll find willowfield makes a lot of people[sic];)

  • cut the bull

    In a hopeful attempt to get back to the topic, I will again make a point

    The DUP continually argue about the existance of an IRA army council,party rep’s claim this is the reason, the DUP claim it wont support the devolution of policing and justice.

    The same DUP regularly name certain MLA’s and Ministers as members of that army council.By DUP standards these people are fit to govern this state but are not fit to over see policing and justice.

    This is strange logic is it not.

  • willowfield

    Dewi

    As in “untrue or unfair, insulting and designed to damage a person’s reputation”. – by your definition not scurrilous then because it’s true and shockingly casually so.

    It’s not true.

    Willow, is Donaldson’s statement re. Drogheda that of a bloke with no sectarian feelings?

    Whether or not it is the statement of “a bloke with no sectarian feelings” is irrelevant. You did not say that some unionist politicians “had sectarian feelings”: you said that “mainstream unionist political representatives” are based “solely on supremacist sectarianism”.

    Seimi

    Your observation of something does not make it a fact.

    Your getting into philosophy now.

    Are you honestly saying you spoke to each and every person involved in the Provisional movement?

    No. Why would I say that?

    And each and every one of them claimed to speak Irish as a way of undermining Northern Ireland’s British identity? See how pedantry works willowfield?

    It doesn’t work because I didn’t say that, nor did I suggest it!

    This is a site for discussion on Northern Irish politics and culture, not on the niceties of English grammar.

    Nonetheless, I think it is important to maintain standards of grammar and spelling, particularly in the interests of the reader. It is to the benefit of the reader if he can read clearly and properly phrased and structured prose.

    Unless you wish to start a thread on that subject, I would suggest you correct other peoples’ grammar in your head and stop trying to undermine others’ arguments by correcting their grammar. I don’t expect you to apologise for noticing a mistake in grammar, however I would like an apology for trying to make a personal attack on me in such a petty-minded manner.

    I already did apologise for that! (And – without being personal – I would like to point out to you that you should have written “people’s” and not “peoples’”.

    Willowfield, if it was [sic] proved to you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the majority of Irish language speakers were not speaking the language for anything other than a genuine love for it and as a way of celebrating their identity, would you support their calls for a strong right-based legislative act?

    I’ve already said that I do not question the motives of the majority of Gaelic-speakers: that is not an issue. It is (a) the fact (as I observe it) that nationalists are seeking to use the Gaelic language as part of a cultural assault on Northern Ireland that makes, and (b) my opinion that there is no need for a “strong right-based legislative act” that makes me oppose one.

    CUT THE BULL

    How could I be conflating a the Gaeilge language which is the language of Ireland with Irish culture.

    Er, by saying that the failure to have an Irish language act is an assault on “the Irish culture” as a whole!

  • willowfield

    CUT THE BULL

    The DUP continually argue about the existance [sic] of an IRA army council,party rep’s [sic] claim this is the reason, the DUP claim it wont [sic] support the devolution of policing and justice.

    The same DUP regularly name certain MLA’s and Ministers as members of that army council.By DUP standards these people are fit to govern this state but are not fit to over see policing and justice.

    This is strange logic is it not.

    Indeed it is strange. I guess, though, that the DUP would argue that policing and justice are particularly sensitive and important matters and that it is less unacceptable to have not-quite-sufficiently-reformed terrorists responsible for agriculture and roads than it would be having them responsible for policing and justice.

  • Seimi

    CTB – isn’t this a clear indication of the existence of some yet-to-be revealed deal between the 2 major parties? My problem is – while I can see what the DUP have to gain from it – more power, appeasing the knuckle-draggers within their electorate etc, I cant see what’s in it for SF. No ILA, no P+J, nothing. Yet they appear to not care, or at least they appear to be doing very little to change anything. Maybe they are too comfortable up at Stormont and don’t want to rock the boat…

    Mayoman
    Yeah, I have noticed this 🙂 I will however continue to be polite, as that is how I was raised.

  • cut the bull

    I would’nt be so sure about a deal having been done between the DUP and the Shinners.

    I think elements within the DUP are pushing an agenda forward to make sure that Sinn Féin knows its place as the DUP see it in Stormont.

    It is also giving those vying for up and coming positions within the DUP a chance to flex their political muscles as well as keeping the knuckle draggers on board.

    I think the DUP and all Unionists are more than happy that republicans are in Stormont, no matter what any of them say, but they will continue to do their utmost to make sure the Shinners dont run ahead of themselves.

  • Seimi

    Are you honestly saying you spoke to each and every person involved in the Provisional movement?

    No. Why would I say that?

    ‘No, not all of them, but those involved in the Provisional movement which now leads nationalism.’

    You said it there.

    ‘It is (a) the fact (as I observe it) that nationalists are seeking to use the Gaelic language as part of a cultural assault on Northern Ireland that makes, and (b) my opinion that there is no need for a “strong right-based legislative act” that makes me oppose one.’

    Again, your ‘observation’ does not a ‘fact’ make.

    So now nationalists are attempting a ‘cultural attack’ on their own country, using one of the cultures of that country??? Fair enough.

    Can you explain why you feel there is no need for a strong rights-based legislative act? I know you don’t speak the language and have no need personally to avail of any of the advantages such an act would bring to those who do speak it, so how can you know that there is no need for it?

  • Seimi

    Fair point CTB. And it does make sense. I just get the feeling that there is something else behind some of this. Surely, if SF were being told to shut up by DUP, they would be on every tv station shouting about it?

  • cut the bull

    You can be Deputy first minister and junior deputy first minister. You can also be responsible for over seeing which way our children shall be educated.

    I think it scares the life out of Unionists the possibility that some day the PSNI,PPS and other departments within the criminal justice system may have to take orders from and therefore be accountable to some one like Gerryy Kelly.

    Some unionists cant handle this.

  • cut the bull

    Sometimes when you know you’ve been sucker punched its best to steer clear of the media

  • Dewi

    you said that “mainstream unionist political representatives” are based “solely on supremacist sectarianism”.

    Fair point – replace “solely” with “primarily” and I stand by that.

  • willowfield

    Seimi

    You said it there.

    I didn’t: I was responding to your question as to whether my observation was based on comments by all Irish nationalists.

    Can you explain why you feel there is no need for a strong rights-based legislative act?

    Yes, I can. I feel that Gaelic-speakers are already facilitated and will continue to be so without a “strong rights-based legislative act”. I feel that people are already free to speak Gaelic in Northern Ireland without such an act. I don’t see how such an act will encourage more people to speak Gaelic, and ironically it may will create annoyance and resentment among some towards the language. I feel that if the Gaelic lobby wants to promote the language they’d be better advised to concentrate on Gaelic language education, media and broadcasting. I don’t see how creating, for example, a statutory duty on Government departments to translate documents into Gaelic that nobody will read, would be positive for anyone.

  • willowfield

    Fair point – replace “solely” with “primarily” and I stand by that.

    It’s still scurrilous.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Willows,

    criticism of Unionist ideology (obviously) means criticism of those persons who adhere to that ideology. I would not suggest that all unionists are supremacist and sectarian but that a majority are happy to associate themselves with an ideology which has these characteristics.

    It is reasonable provided there is evidence – to point this out and to criticise Unionists for having such an unhealthy set of attitudes. To not do so would be tantamount to appeasement.

    Most history books of non iron attribute a large cause of the war/troubles to these sets of attitudes and with a wildly anti-Catholic cleric as the current Unioinist leader then I’m afraid the case against Unionist ideology ( and people ) is fairly made.

  • ulsterfan

    What happened to the promise made by Sf that they were going to “put manners on the DUP”
    If this is the case surely DUP would not be dictating terms to them!
    Perhaps it is another broken promise.
    PSNI will never be responsible to a SF minister or anyone else in the day to day conduct of its business. Legislation will see to that and any politician who interferes will be shown the door by the police board and chief constable.
    The Minister will have very limited powers.

  • cut the bull

    Ulsterfan

    Police forces, services throughout the world are usually responsible to what ever government is in place.

    If an MLA was made Minister for policing and justice then the PSNI would be answerable to him/her and would also take direction and orders from him/her.

  • BonarLaw

    Dewi

    what were you thinking? Too much SA? You will henceforth be the Welsh bloke who came out with “the whole [unionist] movement/people/politic/tribe is solely based on supremacist sectarianism”.

    Credibility down the pan.

  • BonarLaw

    cut the bull

    “If an MLA was made Minister for policing and justice then the PSNI would be answerable to him/her and would also take direction and orders from him/her”

    If that is what republicans believe then P&J;devolution is a long way off.

    Ever heard of operational independence?

  • ulsterfan

    Ctb

    It is not as simple as you think.
    The Chief Constable is entitled to carry out his duties without interference from any politician.
    The responsibilities are clearly defined as are those of a Minister.
    The trouble with SF is that they never want public servants to be accountable to the Government. They want to control everything which comes within their influence and will not be slow to act outside the law if they thought they could get away with it.
    This will explain in part why there is a lack of confidence among Unionists about SF change to democracy.

  • Seimi

    willow – yet again you cherry-pick and deny you said it when it is there in black and white. I really can’t be bothered trying to discuss anything more with you. Slán.

    Regarding SF and policing – Were a SF MLA someday be put in charge of policing, which is unlikely, it would certainly cause ructions within the PSNI. Would they then refuse to be answerable to that minister, and would this be regarded as ‘mutiny’, or whatever the equivalent to that is in policing? And would their current supporters support any legal actions taken against them should this happen?

  • cut the bull

    BL

    Think about the miners strike in Britain. The police did’nt just decide to move against flying pickets which were peaceful, no they were sent in by the government of the time.They were used as pawns to break the strike.

    Police throughout the world act on the orders of govenment. People may not like it.

    Its time to get real here, the DUP by its stance is actually showing that this place cnat be properly governed by local politicians.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Boner,

    easy on the little Welsh fecker – he was not far off – English is his 2nd language

    “the whole [unionist] movement/people/politic/tribe is solely based on supremacist sectarianism ”

    could also be written as

    “the whole [unionist] movement/people/politic/tribe [aligns itself with an ideology which is ] solely based on supremacist sectarianism “

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy and Dewi
    Stop digging. You are in a deep hole and as Homer Simpson would say “start digging up”

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    UlsterbusFan,

    whatever happened to “to “put manners on the DUP” – perhaps the same thing that happened to “smash Sinn Fein”. Election talk – dont you just love it.

    Looks like Ulster will finish above Connacht – but next season should be interesting.

  • Mayoman

    CTB: “DUP by its stance is actually showing that this place cant be properly governed by local politicians.”

    This is the dangerous nub. It will appear to some that unionists cannot ‘do’ politics even under the most favourable of conditions. The more they carry on like this, the more they fulfil/confirm the stereotype. The call will return to that of old: politics can’t work in NI because unionists will never allow it to.

    However, another angle is that the DUP will U-turn after this peri/post-Paisley hard-men BS posturing has had a chance to appease those, err, what did Dewi call them? The trouble for unionists is, if they keep quacking like ducks etc……

  • cut the bull

    that is the danger Unionists cant recognise a good thing even when its slapping the face of them

  • BonarLaw

    cut the bull

    “Police throughout the world act on the orders of govenment. People may not like it.”

    No, a police service acts in accordance with the law subject to proper democratic accountability. If any party thinks otherwise and that party might be in a position to take the relevant ministry then P&J;should stay with the NIO.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    UlsterbusFan, Willows, sundry Unionists,

    it is time for you to broaden your Unionist ideology to make it more in keeping with the 21st century – even if it is only for tactical reasons to get the mass of British public opinion to be more sympathetic to your position. It’s a bad show when even the feckers you are trying to impress with your loyalty are generally unprepared to reciprocate and appear to have more in common with your sworn enemies. Funny old game.

  • cut the bull

    “No, a police service acts in accordance with the law subject to proper democratic accountability”.

    Right enough but who does the Police, officers at the highest level take orders from, the Government usually through a minister who is in a position in relation to security or policing and justice.

    By the way I have difficulties with this and Iam in no way trying to justify such a procedure, but I think its only right to flag this up.

    Think of the Drumcree stand off when Loyalists opened fire on police lines and certain individuals threatened to drive a digger through British Army lines.

    The RUC and the British Army held back not because they wanted to. No, because a political decision was taken and they followed it.

    Think about the riots at the Crumlin Rd/Ardoyne when british soldiers and the PSNI were under serious pressure. Both held back because a political decision was taken to do so.

  • cut the bull

    Just as special branch agents were allowed to murder and get away with it. This only changed when political pressure about such proce4dures began to rise and certain cracks appeared within the Police with officers admitting that this actually happened

  • Reader

    cut the bull: The police did’nt just decide to move against flying pickets which were peaceful,
    The law says that mass pickets were illegal. The reason is that it is intimidating and denies the right of others to choose to work. When the police acted against mass pickets they were enforcing the law. If the police had allowed the pickets to continue, *that* would have been political.

  • willowfield

    McNAlly

    I would not suggest that all unionists are supremacist and sectarian but that a majority are happy to associate themselves with an ideology which has these characteristics.

    Well that’s not what Dewi said: he said all unionists were solely based on supremacist sectarianism.

    Most history books of non iron attribute a large cause of the war/troubles to these sets of attitudes and with a wildly anti-Catholic cleric as the current Unioinist leader then I’m afraid the case against Unionist ideology ( and people ) is fairly made.

    It’s not. There may be an element of sectarianism involved, as in nationalism, but that doesn’t mean it is solely based on it.

    Seimi

    Regarding SF and policing – Were a SF MLA someday be put in charge of policing, which is unlikely, it would certainly cause ructions within the PSNI. Would they then refuse to be answerable to that minister, and would this be regarded as ‘mutiny’, or whatever the equivalent to that is in policing? And would their current supporters support any legal actions taken against them should this happen?

    Highly unlikely that the Chief Constable would refuse to answerable to a Provo minister! The present one has said he would welcome it!

  • Gander

    I’m surprised Dewi finds time to post on Slugger – would have thought male voice choir rehearsal and sheep rape would have first call on his time. After all, that’s what the whole Welsh “movement/people/politic/tribe”‘s about , isn’t it?

  • Gander

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • dewi

    “Well that’s not what Dewi said: he said all unionists were solely based on supremacist sectarianism.”

    Ok – since revised to:

    “mainstream unionist political representation have a primary belief in supremacist sectarianism”.

    Which was true before WW1, true before War of independence, true during the “Protestant State for a Protestant people” era, true during WW2, true before the troubles, true during the troubles, true after the troubles and true now.

    P.S. the word supremacist relates to supremacy not race – as I use it anyway.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Gander,

    the problem is the British mainlanders don’t get the Unionist thing and to be honest although it may seem unfair Dewi’s remarks would not be untypical of the British chattering classes view of Unioinsts. This is because the Unionist ideology is an altogether unattractive collection of attitudes more suited to previous centuries.

    The mystery to me is why Unionists persist with their loyalty when they are clearly held in lower regard than the Irish they share the island with.

  • BonarLaw

    “Unionist ideology is an altogether unattractive collection of attitudes ”

    As opposed to the fragrant ramblings of our Welsh friend?

    My identity is not somehow fixed by what you allege others may feel about that identity. Nor is it conditional on how my Britishness measures up in some vox pops to that of the Irish we share this space with. It wouldn’t be a very confident identity if it did.

  • dewi

    Bonar Law – the whole point is that it ain’t confident. An identity that relies on a truly bizarre July fortnight really ain’t “confident” – you just say no and do nowt about the July stuff whichh causes conflict. What does fragrant mean ?

  • cut the bull

    reader
    When the police acted against mass pickets they were enforcing the law. If the police had allowed the pickets to continue, *that* would have been political.

    The police were used as the boxing glove of a tory government under the leadership of Maggie Thatcher to enforce a political decision to break the miners strike.

    THAT WAS POLITCAL POLICING

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Boner,

    Is being a Unionist not like being the neglected lover – at some point he/she has got to tell the other person to feck off

  • Reader

    cut the bull: to enforce a political decision to break the miners strike.
    Thatcher made her political decision knowing that Scargill couldn’t win if he accepted the law, and wouldn’t win if he tried to break it. Boo hoo.
    Some people can read the runes better than others.
    Do you think there shouldn’t be a law against mass pickets? Or that such a law shouldn’t be enforced? Or that it should be suspended occasionally for the sake of Champions of Socialism?

  • Reader

    IWSMCNWDI : Is being a Unionist not like being the neglected lover – at some point he/she has got to tell the other person to feck off
    Give us a while. We haven’t got quite sorted out that other presumptuous, arrogant and aggressive suitor yet. Things are getting better, though.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Reader,

    fair point – though of course I dont like to add to your sense of being unloved but I think you’ll find the other suitor, of whom you speak in less than flattering terms, is more interested in your land than your natural (quite well hidden)charms.

  • Reader

    IWSMCNWDI: is more interested in your land than your natural (quite well hidden)charms.
    I don’t have any land. Unless you count a small plot of leasehold under my house. Now that we have the universal franchise anyway, isn’t the obsession with land (especially its ownership) all a bit archaic?
    I have always assumed they would prefer the land without us on it. Even viewed as a mere preference rather than an actual plan, that has always been a part of the problem.