Bertie: 51% plus one is not enough…

If it seems strange that the Belfast Telegraph is reporting this statement from Bertie just two days after he made a speech saying unification was an imperative for southern nationalists:

“The only way it can be done is if there’s a sizeable amount of people on the island of Ireland, North and South, believe this is the way forward. Fifty per cent plus one is not the way to do it. That would be a divisive thing to do. There’s no point having votes to find out that you’re 1 percent short or 1 percent over. That’s not the way to do it.”

It’s because that’s how he was thinking when Frank Millar interviewed him for his book “The Triumph of Politics”… Yet the truth is that the two things are not as irreconcilable as they may seem from a northern nationalist perspective. Such an approach however asks serious questions of the politics of confrontation (or rather non-confrontation) that dominated Sinn Fein’s 153 day long ‘civil action’ in the heart of government.

  • edward

    To me the whole issue of pensions is nonsensical, the pensions were acrued and owed by the english government and will be payable the same as any expat pensioners would be!

    The only possible issue would be whether the UK’s beaurocrats would be taken on board by Ireland or if they would have to apply for new positions the same as any new government employee

  • dunreavynomore

    Nationalists, nationalists, nationalists, ah, ha ho,( as the cuckoo said when she flew over Richill) what ever happened to republicans, ah wait, I remember, they joined sinn fein and became nationalists. what is the difference between a nationalist and a republican nowadays from a sinn fein perspective or do they see a difference?

  • Greenflag

    ri na deise.

    ‘ Why don’t you tell us your repartition idea again?’

    There’s a rugby game today bewtween Ireland and Argentina that’s more important . Go to the slugger archives and you’ll find enough to keep you happy for a month or two or preferably three . When the Assembly collapses again or goes into long holiday mode for another six months I’ll drag out the eminently sensible and economically and politically practical repartition solution.

    ‘Don’t think Ive heard that one. ‘

    Perhaps you are a relative newbie to slugger in which case consider yourself lucky that you did not have to endure the offerings of both sets of ‘mad uncles ‘ in the attic whoc could not agree on the colour of a post box or kerbstone all give long winded reasons why if forcing a dog and a cat to share the same small cage wasn’t working then separating them into separate cages would’nt work either 🙁

  • Rory

    beaurocrats”, Edward?

    I must say I never thought of them before as being beautiful. Ah well, …eye of beholder, and all that.

    Greenflag,

    While I do believe your repartition kite will never fly, it is an idea that has been bandied about from time-to-time and at least has a place for consideration (before rejection). However you might be careful with your ‘mad uncles in the attic’ analogy since after all it was the people ‘downstairs’, so to speak, who locked these relatives up in the attic in the attic in the first place in order that they could selfishly share out what family wealth they were able to lay their hands on without considering them. Are you surprised then that they should bang on the ceiling and disturb your peace of mind?

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    ‘The citizens of the Irish Republic will eventually realise that partition is the only workable option and hastily shunt the troublesome British nationalists back across a hastily reconvened Irish border one final time.’

    So why go the long way around . Why not reconvene the border in advance of all the above . It’s called ‘repartition’ . But don’t leave it’s administration and implementation to the local NI administration -we know how that does’nt work -or to the British Government alone . Bring in the UN and or EU to both draw up and implement said repartition

    ‘The GFA does not provide any basis for those who are British to live within an Irish nation-state, but, rather, it promises that the nation-state will be removed and replaced by a bi-nation-state (whatever the hell that will be)’

    The GFA promises no such thing . The Republic’s Constitution as it stands guarantees the rights of all it’s citizens or would be citizens including those of British or other national origin .

    Both Britain and Ireland are part of the EU and members of the UN and thus their citizens/subjects have all the guarantees they need as to their security and rights under the laws of either jurisdiction.

  • CS Parnell

    It’s a wonder that so few people really have a grip on the politics of Easter 1916. The IV and the UVF had one thing in common – they both rejected Home Rule. Easter 1916 was an attempt (and in its way a very successful one) to stop Home Rule.

    As for the 50% + 1 boys saying “that’s enough”: that’s enough for what? A 32 county unitary state, a continuation of the current attangements but with the Irish in the seat where the Brits now sit and vice vera or Eire Nua or something else? No wonder so many unionists are frightened of the prospect when so few nationalists are prepared to say what it is they want, except make noises along the lines of “we’ll put some manners on then, hey boy”: that is what our nationaist great grandparents had to listen to back in 1921 and it is as offensive today to any serious democrat as it was back then.

  • Greenflag

    Rory ,

    ‘since after all it was the people ‘downstairs’, so to speak, who locked these relatives up in the attic in the attic in the first place in order that they could selfishly share out what family wealth they were able to lay their hands on without considering them.’

    Point taken up to to a point . The people ‘downstairs ‘ did’nt put the lock on and keep the key to it in their own pocket . That was a key kept securely in Unionist hands . The truly ‘upstairs ‘ people across the water then ignored the attic until the ceiling gave in and the raucous sound of gunfire and baying mobs disturbed their peace of mind in the late 60’s.
    The attic ‘ceiling ‘ giving in in the 60’s took away the ‘insulating ‘ floor which had formerly protected the ‘downstairs ‘ people from said ‘uncles ‘ for 50 years .

    ‘they could selfishly share out what family wealth they were able to lay their hands ‘

    ‘A bowl of cold gruel for many for the better part of 40 years.’ No subvention -no nothing just ‘ourselves alone ‘ . It’s only in recent decades that the price paid for independence has been seen to be worth it at least from a financial aspect . But as we know there is more to politics than just finance 😉

    ‘Are you surprised then that they should bang on the ceiling and disturb your peace of mind? ‘

    I’m not surprised . Your analogy has however, set me thinking on some new lines which lead me to reconsider ‘repartition ‘ 😉 . Rather than your standard political three story building with said uncles annoying each other and the people both upstairs and downstairs perhaps if one of the uncles (the orange one ) was removed to a newly constructed basement complete with 12 inch thick concrete and sound padded ceiling above and 25 foot thick basement floor (so as not to deafen Lucifer below ) while the other uncle moved in with the rest of the family ‘downstairs ‘ then the people ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ could get along just fine as they are wont to do mostly anyway ?

    The key to the basement door lock would of course be entrusted to the safe hands of some village idiot wandering somewhere in the Siberian tundra north of Vladivostok and suffering from an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s , Parkinsons , and not least the Bubonic plague 😉

  • CS Parnell

    Both Britain and Ireland are part of the EU and members of the UN and thus their citizens/subjects have all the guarantees they need as to their security and rights under the laws of either jurisdiction.

    Greenflag – is that meant to be taken seriously? Because if it was why don’t we do away with the GFA and all that jazz and just get back to the good old days of the Parliament of Northern Ireland?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Sneakers O’Toole and Greenflag

    I can’t for the life of me understand why you would use the 1916 Proclamation to suggest it gave civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, when it clearly states that all citizens must pledge allegiance the the Irish Republic. Thank God you two weren’t living during that time as it’s authors would have got your head cut off or your family intimidated for suggesting Unionists/Monarchists didn’t have to give up their UK citizenship.

    No democratic civilised nation would suggest that a portion of the people must give up citizenship and support of a Monarchy. The demands of the 1916 proclamation suggests there should only be one type of people on the island and the Irish Republic is to exercise political control over the whole island. How gracious of them.

    and Greenflag, don’t boar me with the names of a select few protestants who held high jobs in the Irish government. I realise that the 1916 proclamation didn’t discriminate against religion, but we all know that Dublin rule actually meant Rome rule. De Valera would prove that ‘Home Rule’ was ‘Rome rule’ when he later would claim the attitude to life in Ireland had always been ‘Irish’ and ‘Catholic’. He also claimed Ireland was always a Catholic nation since the coming of St. Patrick and he famously said “she will remain a Catholic nation”. He also said “If I had a vote on a local body, and if there were two qualified people who had to deal with a Catholic community, and if one was a Catholic and the other was a Protestant, I would unhesitatingly vote for the Catholic”.

  • Greenflag

    CS Parnell ,

    ‘just get back to the good old days of the Parliament of Northern Ireland? ‘

    This line reminds me of the Austrian Jew who was seen waiting to board a plane at Vienna Airport for Israel in the 1930’s just before the Anschluss . He was forced to listen to disapproving and abusive comments by fellow would be emigree passengers ‘are you crazy ‘ etc etc . He was after all carrying a picture of Adolf Hitler under his arm . After a while he finally gave his reason for taking with him the ‘picture ‘ of the Fuhrer’

    ‘It’s in case I suffer from nostalgia ‘

    In the case of NI some people’s ‘nostalgia’ are other people’s traumas best forgotten.

    ‘Greenflag – is that meant to be taken seriously? ‘

    Of course . Northern Ireland is of course a ‘special’ case as we have all been reminded incessantly for the past 80 plus years . Not that reminding was needed .

  • Greenflag

    UMH

    ‘don’t boar me ‘

    Ewe have to do better than that . All right then I won’t boar you 😉 I’ll ahem bore you instead . On second thoughts before you put your foot into your gob in any more discussions on the history of Ireland could I recommend you read a good book on the subject . One by an Englishman should sufffice in your case . Marcus Tanner’s ‘Ireland’s Holy Wars ‘ would be helpful particularly in your case .

    And yes we all know the RC Church had strong influence in Ireland in the early days of the State . It still did’nt stop the Irish electorate in the 1970’s from electing a Protestant as President – i.e Erskine Childers over his Catholic opponent Tom Higgins with a majority of over 200,000 IIRC .

  • Ulsters my homeland

    ‘don’t boar me ‘

    “Ewe have to do better than that.”

    Sow sorry!

  • Greenflag

    Sow sorry!

    I told ye to stop oinking 😉

    But a good one above at least 9 out of ten 🙂

  • Greenflag

    UMH ,

    Here’s your more sober self in ahem ‘sow sorry’ mode 😉

  • OC

    GF: “This line reminds me of the Austrian Jew who was seen waiting to board a plane at Vienna Airport for Israel in the 1930’s just before the Anschluss.”

    Talk about anachronism!

    That statement is right up there with Senator Joe Biden’s comment re President FDR’s comments on TV right after the Oct 1929 stock market crash.

    Also, it’s ironic your use of “Anschluß” in a discussion of Irish irredentism, or manifest destiny if you will.

  • Greenflag

    OC,

    ‘talk about anachronism’

    Talk about manifest destiny long enough and you’ll soon convince yourself that these republican irrendentists won’t stop until the Greater Irish Republic is manifest from the cloud covered sea of Galway bay to non shining sea off the coast of Siberian Vladisvostok . The republcan irredentist plan (b), once plan a) the annexation/re annexation of the 6 counties is complete is to take Scotland and Wales and also restore England to Celtic rule before moving further east to regain the lost Central European lands and then further east to the Urals and beyond .

    Personnally I think both plans a) and b) are overrated . I’ll settle for just a 30 county Republic 😉

    As for the GFA and it’s somewhat vague provisions . Well if people like your good self want to tie themselves in knots over it, thats their business . That after all is what it was designed for . How else could the nonsense of the past ten years of farting around with it have been accomplished without the multiple interpretation schools of unionism and republicanism quoting chapter and verse as if from the bible ?

    And on that biblical point theres the rub . Not only have the NI folks got the good Book to help them argue forever and a day whether the invisible God is a Catholic or a Protestant they also now have a GFA which is equally if not more convoluted in it’s design to help make the ungovernable seemingly governable while at the same time convincing both orange and green that they have each ‘won ‘

    Indeed

  • Greenflag

    OC ,

    Here’s your anachronism -The Irish ‘Anschluss ‘ in action and how it will work ‘ You can surrender now if you want or await further trauma 😉