“What are you going to do, bleed on me?”

The Belfast Telegraph reports a speech by the Member of [the UK] Parliament Northern Ireland Assembly member International Representative for West Belfast, Gerry Adams – “Campaign for a united Ireland set to go global”. The Irish News has another quote from the speech

“All of this is part of a process,” [Adams] said. “I like to judge it, because it’s convenient to do so, in a 40-year span. “And 40 years in a lifetime is huge but in history it’s only a blink.”

Which would also work for the DUP.. Because it’s all very well imposing a retrospective, and self-serving, narrative onto events but “history has no premeditated design”. Of course the Sinn Féin leader is also “looking forward with confidence..” 2008 having been so, erm, successful.. [Probably best not to look back – Ed]. All of which reminds me more of Monty Python’s Black Knight than anything else..

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  • Ulsters my homeland

    that vid sums it up perfectly. lol.

  • Perhap a vid from the revolutionaries in “the life of brian” would have been more fitting?

    LOL

  • Yer Woman

    Let’s see. West Belfast is currently awash with tiger burglaries, anti-social behaviour, a chronic lack of jobs and under-investment (which will get worse as the year goes on) to name but a few ongoing blights, and the MP for the area seeks to address these problems and his constituents fears by launching a global campaign for a united Ireland? What planet does this man live on?

  • Plastic Paddy

    Who in Irish America is he trying to persuade of the rationale for a United Ireland? That seems like a classic example of “preaching to the choir”.

    If it’s a progressive republican agenda they are after, they should start with six county representation in the Oireachtas.

  • NCM

    Not trying to be a smart-ass and sorry for sounding disrespectful and snide, but what exactly and specifically would Gerry Adams like us Americans to do to bring about a 32 county Irish republic? Any ideas?

  • wild turkey

    NCM
    ‘but what exactly and specifically would Gerry Adams like us Americans to do to bring about a 32 county Irish republic? Any ideas? ‘

    ah, pay for it?

    In response to WWF TV ads, my kids are on to me to ‘adopt’ a polar bear to save the environment. That’s cool. Given the impressive and proven track record of previous marketing campaigns, perhaps Sebastopal St will initiate an ‘adopt’ a 32-county republican on American TV shopping channels. Build a Bear has already proved the efficacy of the potential marketing model.

    Terms and conditions may apply.

  • dunreavynomore

    How will persuading Irish America of the need for a united ireland change the minds of the 6 co,s unionists whom Gerry has, through the GFA, agreed have a veto as long as they can maintain a majority in the 6 co,.?

  • NCM

    WT: “ah, pay for it?”

    Pay for it, how? By giving money to “Friends of SF”? And that’s supposed to do what, exactly?

    Seriously, I’m all for donating to the republican cause, but how? You joke about “Adopt a Republican” but I suspect that would be money better spent than sending it to Mr. Adams and company.

  • Quagmire

    Good man Gerry. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there, as long as we get there, and indeed I believe we will.

    Let’s see. West Belfast is currently awash with tiger burglaries, anti-social behaviour, a chronic lack of jobs and under-investment (which will get worse as the year goes on) to name but a few ongoing blights, and the MP for the area seeks to address these problems and his constituents fears by launching a global campaign for a united Ireland? What planet does this man live on?
    Posted by Yer Woman on Jan 02, 2009 @ 05:16 PM

    Some valid points here however there seems to be an expectation, especially within Unionism, that now the assembly is up and running that SF should just forget the whole United Ireland thingy and just concentrate on norn iron. The problem is however that Unionism sees Stormont as an end in itself whereas Gerry and co, myself included, see it very much as a means to an end. All of the other points made by Yer woman, i.e. underinvestment, crime etc, will be dealt with by the appropriate agencies i.e. PSNI, Stormont etc, but one should also keep in mind that as Republicans, Irish Unity and building electoral strength remains SF’s primary goal. The shift will be very evident over the course of the coming years i.e. watch for SF taking North Belfast, South Down, gaining a seat in upper Bann and indeed topping next years Euro election poll etc. Won’t it be funny when “Our wee country’s” First Minister comes from a party that seeks the destruction of the state and indeed was the former OC of Derry. What will Unionism do then? Our plan is long term and our pressure will be relentless. An phoblacht Abu!!

  • frustrated democrat

    Quagmire

    ‘Our plan is long term and our pressure will be relentless’.

    Seems it will be have to be very long term as the pressure for the status quo will be even more relentless as time passes and a UI becomes less and less relevant.

  • William

    Quagmire….ye reduced McGuinness in the ranks…..he was Chief of Staff….

  • Quagmire

    “Seems it will be have to be very long term as the pressure for the status quo will be even more relentless as time passes and a UI becomes less and less relevant.”
    Posted by frustrated democrat on Jan 02, 2009 @ 07:34 PM

    You couldn’t give me the lottery numbers for next week while your at it there fd? U base ur assertion on a what if and a maybe whereas my argument is factually based on projected demographics and voting data (Check out Horseman’s blog over at Ulster is Doomed.)Contrary to your wishful thinking, I believe that as time passes a UI will become more relevant and the numbers will eventually be there to support the drive. The assembly has no real powers and people are becoming ever more increasingly frustrated with this.

    ye reduced McGuinness in the ranks…..he was Chief of Staff….
    Posted by William on Jan 02, 2009 @ 07:37 PM

    Apologies William. I’m sure our future First Minister will forgive me.

  • runciter

    First Minister comes from a party that seeks the destruction of the state and indeed was the former OC of Derry.

    Sounds very exciting.

    But how exactly will having an SF first minister magically unite Ireland?

  • Quagmire

    “But how exactly will having an SF first minister magically unite Ireland?”
    Posted by runciter on Jan 02, 2009 @ 08:22 PM

    That’s not my point. My point is that over the course of the next number of years we will see the Protestant – Catholic demographic come close to parity. Now we all know that Protestant doesn’t mean Unionist and Catholic doesn’t mean Nationalist i.e. Billy Leonard – Protestant Republican, however what is clear, at least from the last election, is that almost all Catholics of voting age who voted, did so for Nationalist/Republican parties. For this reason I believe that it is safe to say that the projected increases in the Catholic demographic will translate, as previous trends suggest, into votes for Nationalist/Republican parties ergo greatly enhancing the prospect of a Nationalist/Republican party being the biggest in the state-let and indeed in relation to returning a Nationalist/Republican First Minister. If this were to happen I believe that it would be hugely beneficial to the United Ireland cause and indeed detrimental for Unionism. It would have a enormous galvanizing and psychological effect on the north’s nationalist population. It would create an air of expectancy or inevitability in relation to Irish Unity that would be the final nail in the coffin for Unionism. To arrive at this point from a place where “Our Wee Country” was a “Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people” with an inbuilt and manufactured 70% -30% unionist majority would be no small feat to say the least. I think you grossly underestimate the significance of this very real threat to unionism and wouldn’t it be ironic if the northern state was felled via the very mechanism by which it was conceived i.e. a sectarian headcount.

  • runciter

    I think you grossly underestimate the significance of this very real threat to unionism

    Or maybe I’m just feeling a little disillusioned about SF’s grand promises.

    wouldn’t it be ironic if the northern state was felled via the very mechanism by which it was conceived i.e. a sectarian headcount.

    I believe that is the very crux of the bargain.

  • Jimmy Sands

    No more ironic than for SF to triumph on the basis of the very mechanism which they murdered 2000 in attempting to displace.

  • David

    United Ireland in 40 years? Last initiative Gerry launched was predicting a UI by 2016.

  • frustrated democrat

    Quagmire

    I have already had this debate on another recent thread, let me summarise.

    1. Every referendum or poll on the border in the last 25 years shows about 65% in favour of the UK.

    2. Catholics are not programmed at birth to vote for a UI and there are polls that note that 10% of SDLP voters would vote for the UK and most Alliance voters would also do so.

    3. Normal polls are not a reliable guide to the the way people vote in a referendum as the turnouts are not the same and people can vote one way in a normal election and another in a referendum. Most non voters in normal elections, of whatever religion, tend to be more unionist in outlook.

    4. The RoI is becoming more and more Anglicised/Americanised as every day passes, look at what TV they watch, what football teams they support, what shops they shop in, what brands they buy, who they work for. The accents are changing, the church is losing its grip. Ireland is becoming united but not in the way you want it to.

    5 In addition the Conservatives are organised in NI and probably Labour will be organised in NI, hardly a vote for a withdrawal of NI from the UK and in fact show increasing support for the status quo in GB.

    6 On the basis of current demographics unless unionists can be persuaded to vote for a UI it will not happen, and that is not likely as the RoI economy will take years to recover and the unionists prefer a very rich Aunt to a very poor Cousin never mind the other problems.

    You wanted supporting information so you got it, it is readily available if you look for it, and does not in any way support your assertions.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Gerry needs a hobby.

  • Quagmire

    FD, polls and previous referendums are not reliable, especially in norn iron. Most of the ones you referred to were boycotted by nationalists i.e. 65% in favour of the union is pie in the sky. If polls were a true indicator of public opinion here, then everyone would be voting Alliance. The only real polls that I trust are elections, which continue to show that 99.9% of Catholics vote for nationalist parties and that the nationalist/catholic demographic is getting bigger. As for the Cons and Labour, they are more than welcome to contest elections here, history shows that no one votes for them and if they do they tend to come from the Unionist demographic which splits their vote. I am in agreement with you in terms of the Americanisation of the south and the diminished role of the Catholic church, but I believe that this just supports my view i.e. Unionists can no longer bang on about the Grand Papist Conspiracy which only exists in their warped little minds. In relation to current demographics you are once again correct in your assertion that a sizable minority of unionists need persuading, roughly 7%, however my post, if you read it, was about demographic projections for the next 10-20 years, which all evidence points to parity between the two communities. It is at this point that the Union will be in real danger. Remember all that is needed is 50%+1, which is not 51% as most people think. That means if 50.1% vote in favour of unity then its slan go foil mo chara. In the mean time Robbo cant fart without Big Martin saying so which means no voluntary coalition. You’re stuck with us I’m afraid until the numbers game is up.

    p.s. Another good wee one that you’ll like too.
    Not only will there be more of us in the foreseeable future, but statistics show more Catholics than Protestants attend Universities here in the north. Indeed most Protestants tend to go to Britain for their third level education, in many cases choosing never to return. So in 10-20 years time there will be a much larger Catholic middle class taking all the top jobs in “our wee Country”. We’ll be running the show, while Unionism is still putting up flags and burning tyres trying to locate an identity, longfully wishing for the return of the shipyard, the sirocco works, the RUC, the B-specials, the UDR and one party majority rule. Where did it all go wrong?

  • frustrated democrat

    Quagmire

    You can ignore the facts if you wish it is your right, however using figures to support your propostion that are not comparable and ignoring those that are comparable as unreliable do nothing to support your argument. Note in the last referendum 57.5% of the electorate did not want a UI, despite the boycott which meant the outcome was a foregone conclusion and depressed the unionist vote.

    Elections are not a barometer to referenda outcomes look at the figures which are consistent over many years, in fact in one major survey less than 50% of Catholics favoured a UI as their 1st choice.

    I think a referendum along with the next Westminister election would be a good idea and would clear the matter up for another generation or maybe forever and we could then direct our energy to more important issues that really matter to the vast majority of people here.

  • Mack

    Frustrated Democrat
    On the basis of current demographics unless unionists can be persuaded to vote for a UI it will not happen, and that is not likely as the RoI economy will take years to recover and the unionists prefer a very rich Aunt to a very poor Cousin never mind the other problems.

    You are confused.

    GDP per capita 2008

    Ireland – $63,788
    United Kingdom – $44,720

    Source : The IMF

    Yes, Ireland is experiencing a severe recession. As is the UK, have you missed Sterling’s collapse? Or maybe the British are the poor cousins you refer to.

    I would take issue with your demographic assertions too. Although I agree that a majority is not imminent.

  • cynic

    Why are you surprised at Gerry running this campaign?

    1 he needs something to do to try to keep his profile up and stop people realising his irrelevance in the new political dispensation

    2 all his other strategies have failed, so what else is left

    3 the European elections are coming up so he needs to wrap a flag (no matter how threadbare) around the party

    4 he needs to divert SF supporters from the true position they are now in and keep up the myth that a United Ireland is just around the corner

    5 externally, he needs to keep fostering the myth that its the English who want to stay in Ireland while ignoring the problem that it’s the million + Prods who live here that are the real barrier to his Nirvana.

    So just a few months ago it was 2016 for a UI, now it may be 40 years but sure that’s just a blink in the eye of history.

    Gerry is now positioning himself as the new Moses of Republicanism but he needs to remember what happened to Moses.

  • Dave

    Hmmm… let’s see. It’s 16 years since the Downing Street Declaration and now it’s another 40 years before a united Ireland falls out of the sky, apparently. That’s 56 years.

    Those of us who remember the TV images from that era of cars draped in tricolours driving up and down the Falls Road in a Shinner-organised victory march might wonder if the dupes behind the wheels were informed that the process wouldn’t inevitably lead to a united Ireland and that if it led that way at all that it wouldn’t do so for a over half a century at the earliest.

    Eventually they’ll cop-on that they have renounced their right to self-determination as part of the Irish nation in perpetuity and that ‘the process’ was never about extending that right to all of the island but rather that it is about ensuring that Northern Ireland remains in the UK and that the only way that the island could be united is if the citizens of the Republic renounced their own right to self-determination and agreed that another nation (and its sovereign government) should hold a veto over them.

    Give it another 10 years and the Shinners will be openly advocating that the Republic joins the Commonwealth as their puppet masters position them to make a more proactive role in promoting British nationalism.

  • NCM

    Wouldn’t it be funny if one day the Unionists woke up and realized that the UK actually kind of sucks? I mean, it ain’t a place I’d want to live, and this is coming from an American who lives in a thoroughly messed up country himself. From Big Brother cameras watching your every move, to a welfare system that perpetuates poverty and misery rather than curing it, to demands by some citizens that knives actually be banned (!) because otherwise people might hurt others with them, well… maybe Unionists might want to reconsider?

  • Gonzo

    The only real polls that I trust are elections, which continue to show that 99.9% of Catholics vote for nationalist parties

    Really? Anyone else remember ticking a box marked Catholic on their ballot paper?

    You also need a quick lesson in demographic change! Ah, such a panglossian republican, you always think a united Ireland is just around the corner…

  • frustrated democrat

    Mack

    I think you should look at total GDP to discover which country has the most wealth.

    I think Ireland is somewhat less than 10% of the UK, so who is wealthy and who isn’t?

  • cynic

    “the UK actually kind of sucks?”

    Well living in London does but not sure about the rest. But lets see what its like in the Utopia of modern Ireland.

    banks bust

    Rampant corruption – wasn’t that two PMs in a row who left because of little brown envelope / briefcase full of cash problems

    horrendous cost of living

    poor pensioners

    crap healthcare system

    chronic alcohol problems

    horrendous house prices

    awful traffic

    crap public transport

    now fewer and fewer jobs outside the Dublin metropolis (but who cares about that anyway)

    Now I am all for self criticism and welcome input from anyone but we do have quite a few Americans on here whose view of both countries seems shaped by cable TV reports from BBC RTE and, gawd help us, on-line editions of the Daily Mail.

    All I will say is that you shouldn’t believe all you see / read / listen to and we have wider variations across each of our countries that sometimes majke them better / worse places to live

  • Mack

    Frustrated Democrat

    Nope, it merely means the UK is a bigger country / economy. There is a different between a big country and a wealthy one. What matters in determining standard of living is wealth / income/ productivity per head.
    China is a bigger economy than the UK but a large portion of the population live in abject poverty (at least for now).

  • NCM

    Cynic, fair enough. My first-hand experience with the UK in the past ten years is extremely limited but I get the distinct impression (from media, etc.) of a country that is falling deeper and deeper into a bizarre nanny-state culture that doesn’t trust its citizens to take care of themselves and of a state that does everything in its power to keep its citizens dependent. It’s capitalist welfare-statism run amok. It just strikes me as funny that right-wingers would do everything in their power to stay part of a decayed and broken system like this rather than run for the exit.

  • Mack

    Cynic –

    Health Care – Irish health care system is broadly similar to what’s available in the UK – albeit those that can afford to pay (or purchase insurance). Take a look at the infant mortality league table. Ireland and UK very close (both perform reasonably well).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate_(2005)

    Cost of living – this is falling, wages are substantially higher, and cheaper prices in Newry are a car ride away (or a couple of clicks online). GDP at purchasing power parity is still substantially higher in Ireland than in the UK.

    Banks bust – also true of the UK

    Horrendous house prices – also true of the UK and Northern Ireland (to a greater extent) in particular. Falling everywhere now, and will continue to fall. Rents are more reasonable and are also falling, so why buy?

    awful traffic – major infrastructure projects are ongoing. There has been phenomenal population growth in recent years. One plus – there are pretty good bycycle lanes in Dublin.

    poor pensioners – Pension benefits are substantially higher in Ireland than in the UK. I’ve posted details on another thread. Ireland has a lower dependency ratio (younger population) – pension benefits will likely be better in Ireland for the forseeable future.

    rampant corruption – fair point. both examples you give relate to 30 years or more ago though. There has been a significant effort to clean up.

    crap public transport – Bus services are pretty good. LUAS, DART and Arrow are good where services exist – LUAS is currently being extended. Rail services throughout the country are reasonable. Infrastructure projects are on going.

    chronic alcohol problems – we like a good time. Seriously though there is no difference between Ireland and the UK in this regard.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mack,

    Infant mortality league tables are one yardstick but they don’t tell the whole story.

    You need to get waiting times for typical operations and the costs of performing them, the number of consultants per head of population, etc. And you have to bear in mind that Ireland has a relatively young and unusually prosperous population.

    I’ll bet Ireland comes out worse than the UK most of the time. The state of the health service is regarded as god-awful by most people I know who live there. I’d take the NHS any day.

    The cost of living is the other one in the list. It’s always been dearer in the RoI, even pre Celtic Tiger.

  • Comrade Stalin

    NB what I get out of this blog post is Gerry Adams telling his supporters that he won’t see a united Ireland in his lifetime..

  • Mack

    Comrade Stalin –

    It’s relatively disorganised alright – standard of care in my experience is roughly comparable. Infant mortality pretty much depends on the quality of public care provided, that’s why I chose it as a yard stick. I agree it doesn’t say much about your prognosis if you have cancer.

  • DC

    Gerry wants to draw support from ‘huge’ population of Irish living in Britain. Isn’t that a bit contradictory in terms of the value of Ireland in that support is being raised inside of Britain largely economic migrants.

    Now that Adams and the IRA have stopped the killing all that comes to mind when reading rhetoric and unreasoned quotes is que sera sera Mr Adams, que sera sera.

  • Mack

    Comrade Stalin –
    NB what I get out of this blog post is Gerry Adams telling his supporters that he won’t see a united Ireland in his lifetime..

    There will never be a 32 county socialist republic.

    If there ever is going to be united Ireland some level of persuasion will be required (at a minimum to persuade all nationalist voters and soft unionists). To persuade voters that they’d be better off in the future under a different system. Difficult to see how the Shinners, with their very specific (with a narrow appeal) preference could achieve that on their own.

    Which is not to say someone else couldn’t.

  • cynic

    Mack

    Forgive me. A very Dublin centric viewpoint.

    But my point was that it wasn’t a choice between the UK and some Irish Idyll

  • Quagmire

    “There will never be a 32 county socialist republic.

    If there ever is going to be united Ireland some level of persuasion will be required (at a minimum to persuade all nationalist voters and soft unionists). To persuade voters that they’d be better off in the future under a different system. Difficult to see how the Shinners, with their very specific (with a narrow appeal) preference could achieve that on their own.

    Which is not to say someone else couldn’t.”
    Posted by Mack on Jan 03, 2009 @ 10:14 PM

    Couldn’t agree more about the socialist Republic. A 32 County Republic however would do very nicely thank you.

    Defo agree that SF cannot act alone on this one. Its more about evolution than revolution for me and when the time comes the Southern establishment i.e. FF (The Republican Party), FG (The United Ireland Party) & Lab, will have to do much of the heavy lifting and be proactive in terms of acting as agents of persuasion for unity.

  • frustrated democrat

    Mack

    When you are looking at an £8 billion subvention for NI I think per capita income is less important that national income.

    It is a bit like saying that someone living alone with an annual income of £60k is wealthier than than the family of 12 next door with an annual income of £500k – I know if I wanted a loan where I would go.

  • Comrade Stalin

    SF don’t say “socialist” themselves anymore, they don’t want to scare the Americans – or, in this modern age, their own voters.

    I think a 32-county state is quite likely within 100 years. But whenever it happens, it won’t seem like the big deal it did in 1969. Since then, NI has become poorer and the RoI has become richer, and I think that’s a lot to do with why (for republicans and loyalists both) it isn’t worth fighting over so much anymore.

  • Mack

    Frustrated Democrat

    That’s a fair point. I would hope to see NI wean itself off the subvention one way or another. I’m not convinced it’s possible within the Union – I think both Scotland and Wales also get a subvention from SE England. That’s not to say I’m anti-British either – I don’t think I am. I do think Northern Ireland would be better off economically under a system where it could pay it’s own way (the other British states would benefit from not having to pay the subvention) – either Independent with strong mutually beneficial ties to it’s neighbours (to allow co-operation with the IDA for example, and perhaps to abstract the instituitions people want to keep or join into an extra-state structure) or in a united Ireland (we know the Irish instituitions can grow an economy successfully and they have fine tuned their tax structure to that end – this coupled with NI’s competitive wage structure could mean Northern Ireland’s economy would go on a tear in a peaceful united Ireland).

  • frustrated democrat

    Mack

    The climb out of subvention will be long and slow it took 40 years to get into the mess as almost two generations of investment passed NI by as the IRA tried to destroy the industrial base.

    So I think NI is best served inside the UK on a purely economic basis for a very long time to come.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Scotland and Wales (and, if you think about it) the northern parts of England are all, just like NI, receive a subvention.

    I guess you would be able to draw a ring around greater Dublin on a map, you’d work out that much of Ireland receives a subvention as well.

  • Mack

    Comrade Stalin & Frustrated Democrat –

    The public sector, while better paid, is a lot smaller in the south. The Irish gov have been reasonably successful in encouraging investment (and indigenous business growth) in the sticks too.

    With NI’s competitive wages, and the Irish tax structure and the IDA I firmly believe NI could have it’s own super boom.

  • cynic

    ” Gerry wants to draw support from ‘huge’ population of Irish living in Britain. ”

    Independence for Kilburn by 2016!

  • Oilifear

    Mick,

    It’s hard to keep a pace with this one, but IMF tallies for GDP per capita for both states in 2008 is:

    • Ireland: US$57,554
    • United Kingdom: US$34,942

    And for five years time, the IMF are predicting the following:

    • Ireland: US$69,888
    • UK: US$42,433

    (source)

    The “very rich Aunt”/”very poor Cousin” business demonstrates as strong a grip on reality as our good friend Gerry does (about whom I can only agree with cynic @ 01:21 PM).

  • frustrated democrat

    Oilifear

    You obviously didn’t read ALL the posts as you are still confusing personal and national GDP.

    Ireland still has less than 10% of the UK’s GDP.

    Your grasp of economics is somewhat less than you thought.

  • Mack

    Ollifear – my bad, they were estimates for 2009. From wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita

    Frustrated Democrat – not again 😉 The only possible time that matters is if you are going to give it away, as the English so generously do for you.

  • Oilifear

    cynic, if you’ll allow me a little bit of what-about-ery:

    * banks bust – Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley?
    * rampant corruption – “Cash for Questions”, “Cash for Peers”?
    * horrendous cost of living – 9.5% increase in 2008?
    * poor pensioners – 2.5 million pensioners living below the poverty line?
    * crap healthcare system – “crumbling NHS”?
    * chronic alcohol problems – 10 million regularly exceed consumption guidelines
    * horrendous house prices – 80% of working class and 68% of middle class people say they cannot afford to buy a home

    I can’t be bothered looking for something on “awful traffic” and “crap public transport”, but I think you may have a little Dublin bias on that one. Where I live, I certainly have NO traffic problem and public transport is at least sufficient and always comfortable.

    I’m bemused by your statement that there are “now fewer and fewer jobs outside the Dublin metropolis (but who cares about that anyway)”. Going off Q4 2007 unemployment figures (out of date, I know, but I can’t find a national breakdown for 2008):

    * Dublin: 4.8% unemployment
    * State: 4.7% unemployment (bulked up by a massive 6.6% unemployment in the Border region)

    For the slow, that means unemployment is LOWER outside of Dublin.

  • Oilifear

    frustrated democrat,

    The figures are per capita. Would you prefer to live in a country of 100 people where you had $100 each or a country of 1000 people where you had $100 between you?

  • Oilifear

    typo: “where you had $1000 between you”

  • frustrated democrat

    oilifear

    I live in the real world where NI needs £8 billion a year in subvention, can the RoI afford it for the next 40 years?

    In any event from my experience selling to the RoI prices are 20-100% more expensive, hence all the shoppers coming north at the moment, so the standard of living is not so much different.

  • Mack

    Frustrated Democrat –
    I live in the real world where NI needs £8 billion a year in subvention, can the RoI afford it for the next 40 years?

    Well, with the way Sterling is headed…

    Continued economic and population growth in Ireland (Republic) would make it more affordable. It’s a problem for us (the south) not you (the north).

    The tax regime in the south, coupled with IDA, smaller nature of the state – would mean the subvention could be ended quite quickly. Also, much expensive southern public sector work could be outsourced to the north.

    There is also the possibility of England ending it. The north’s private sector economy under those circumstances is still unlikely to match the souths. (I don’t think the NI in the UK will match economic growth in the south generally).

    If you don’t want a United Ireland, that’s fine. NI would be better off in one (or perhaps independent, or repartitioned), but you have a vote and can vote against it.

  • Oilifear

    Prices are more expensive and the rise in Sterling is not the only cause, they were more expensive before the current crisis. What you want to compare in that case is GDP at purchasing-power parity (PPP):

    * Ireland: US$42,780
    * UK: US$36,571

    (source)

    As for the real world, all 32 counties were once in that situation. It is not the way that Northern Ireland has to be.

    £8 billion ($12 billion) is less than 5% of the RoI’s €187 billion ($255 billion) GDP. It would be possible to sustain it into the medium term but, if NI were to merge with the RoI, that is not a situation that would be allowed to continue. GB may be satisfied to allow its distant appendage to wither at a negligible price but the RoI could not.

    £12 billion ($18 billion) in taxes are raised in NI. €40 billion ($59 billion) are raised in the RoI. Northern Ireland could expect to return 83 deputies to the Oireachtas. RoI currently returns 166. Even taking things as they stand now, with one quarter of all revenue returns and one third of deputies, in the real world, NI would be too great a contributor to a NI-RoI union to allow it to wither and unionists parties could be king-makers not once in a century but every time around.

  • Oilifear

    (For “Oireachtas”, of course, replace with whatever your preferred term is. The proportion of deputies returned is what matters, not the name given to the parliament.)

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    We seem to have drifted away from the actual topic into a somewhat pointless, and potentially endless, discussion..

  • Pete Baker

    To clarify.

    If the economic case was the decisive factor in this debate then Northern Ireland would, potentially, be endlessly changing its territorial position.

  • Mack

    Pete – For years when I was growing up Unionists said that 30% or so of nationalists would vote to keep the union for economic reasons. I would imagine it’s a pretty core part of putting an argument for persuading people (not least those nationalists) one way or the other.

    Anyway, isn’t it better that we’re debating wooing NI voters one way or another with a more prosperous future, than threatening one and other with empty tribal rhetoric?

  • Oilifear

    Pete, if the topic was Adam’s “campaign” then I think consensus fell pretty quickly on him being a twat and there being little more to say about it.

    The substantive issue (a UI) isn’t hardly off topic though. The economic case is hardy the decisive factor today, but it is a reasonable factor for discussion none-the-less so long as we can keep our tempers (is a UI feasible? is it better for NI to stay with the larger economy? or are there benefits for NI to joining with the smaller economy? etc.). Had the economy of Ireland been handled better in the past, we might all still be in the UK today – or 1801 might never have happened … or 1601 for that matter … or heck 1169!

    It is, in the end, about the economy, stupid.

  • Pete Baker

    Oilifear

    “The substantive issue (a UI) isn’t hardly off topic though.”

    And I repeat..

    If the economic case was the decisive factor in this debate then Northern Ireland would, potentially, be endlessly changing its territorial position.

  • Mack

    Pete – So is sectarian demography the decisive factor? Or where should we productively be focusing our efforts (on both sides)?

    I believe if both side put forward positive arguments in favour of their goals, we’ll all be better off. The economy is a fertile ground for this, but if there are other things we should be discussing – I like to research those too..

  • Oilifear

    Don’t repeat, please.

    If the only element of economy was the constant appraisal and reappraisal of GDP per capita with whichever had the greater “winning” Northern Ireland there would be some sense to what you say. There is, however, more to economy than that.

    Now, I don’t want to repeat myself. So why don’t you read my post of 11:57. In full this time. And with a little less haste.