“look at the wider picture..”

UUP leader Reg Empey tried to keep the focus on “the wider picture” when discussing the political implications of the now conjoined UUP/Conservative Party on the Politics Show today, but the devil is always in the detail..

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  • fin

    Wow FD, shipbuilding and ropeworks, thats building for the 21stcentury alright, how about the manufacture of barrel scraping tools.

    As someone else pointed out the Tories and Jim are having a chat about things, as John Hume would say ‘you can’t eat conversations’, which regardless if it does happen it will only be a boom for brass plate makers and engravers as companies nominally move their head quarters to a local accountants office.

    Do I understand that while ‘dissing’ the Souths Celtic Tiger, you crow about doing the same in the North.

    Lets face it the North has never been an economic success, the South managed it by themselves.

    Is it not a recognised mental illness to keep repeating the same actions while hoping for a different outcome?

    Its distressing that while unionists preach about the importance of creating economic success for people in Northern Ireland they are only prepared to attempt it one way, by having the English taxpayer pump cash into it.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    fin

    I don’t have to ‘diss’ the economy in the RoI its residents are doing it every day, including Sammy.

    The only difference is you will have to pay back all the billions that the RoI borrows to prop up the bankrupt banks and economy, NI doesn’t have to make any repayments.

    Who is in the best position to grow?

    Want to rejoin the UK?

  • fin

    “NI doesn’t have to make any repayments” which proves my point, NI will watch on the sideline as English and Scottish politicans borrow money to re-establish Financial services in London and industry in England, than when they have invested in the parts of the UK which drive the economy, namely London and the South-East NI and everywhere else can get in line with your begging bowls for bailouts. The bailouts will be a long time coming.

    Further South, the Irish people, elected an Irish government, built an Irish economy, and yes they are in trouble, the Irish government has had to bail-out Irish banks and need to fix the Irish economy.

    The thing is FD, all the problems, all the rewards, all the decisions everything is Irish.

    In NI, the problems, and decisions are English and the rewards are the handouts from the English taxpayer.

    Unionism is a bit stuffed because the only real alternative to living off handouts from the English taxpayer is to build an all Ireland economy and stand on their own feet, yet they prefer to think that the English taxpayer is getting a good deal by pouring billions down the pan every year for the joy of having NI in the UK.

    Do I want to rejoin the UK, its a bit like asking where on the sinking ship you would like to stand, I’ve lived in London for many years, and I’ve never seen things collapse like this or imagined they could. Everyone I know outside the public sector is suffering and scared, pubs are quiet, restuarants the same, supermarkets are discounting like mad and there are just nowhere near as many people out shopping at the weekend as a year ago. Which is in part why I am angry with the Tories for promising the world to NI, if the powerhouse of the UK (London) is broke why the hell is he saying he’s going to spend money in NI, and more importantly where is it going to come from.

    Watch out for pensions to go next, private, and more importantly public sector. NI has a big public sector, if the tories get in they will strip the pensions of employees in the public sector, which will hurt NI.

  • Frustrated Democrat @ 10:24 AM:

    The only difference is you will have to pay back all the billions that the RoI borrows to prop up the bankrupt banks and economy, NI doesn’t have to make any repayments.

    Where do these blinkered fools come from?

    Consider the logic of that:
    NI has no obligation to the UK Treasury;
    None of those (probably inadequate) budget constraints and imposts from Alistair Darling last week had any significance in God’s wee (not-quite-a-) Province;
    NI is not involved in the general fall in assets (corporate bonds and equities) to levels well below historic averages, all now being kept barely afloat by Treasury guarantees and subventions;
    NI has not been caught up in the property bubble, and NI people, uniquely among the inhabitants of these islands and the US, no longer “seem to regard increasing home values as part of their birthright”;
    etc., etc.

    Meanwhile, again uniquely, George Osborne’s absolute and reasonable proscription on any tax and spending commitments, suddenly, magically, does not apply to business and commercial taxation in NI. Phew!

    How are things in Glockamorra?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Fin,

    FD has a point – but as usual with ideological arguments dressed up as practical ones we only have part of the story.

    Norn Iron is in the middle of 2 very badly run countries – at least the ROI has the benefit of a proper currency.

  • fin

    To a point Sammy, however, the ideology of nationalists is self-determination, the pros and cons of that are evident in the celtic tiger and its aftermath.

    FD has also argued from an ideological viewpoint, which in a reality which he won’t admit is we will remain in the UK and because of that our quality of life will be determined by politicans and businessmen from another country.

    I’d prefer to think that the fundamental difference between both traditions is not one of a group of people wanting to make a life for themselves opposed to a group of people who want someone else to make a life for them.

  • New Blue

    Turn my back for a few hours and look what happens!

    I doubt I can cover all the ground I missed in the last 18 housrs or so, but I’ll give it a go.

    Northern Ireland has had a very successful economy, albeit from partition to post WWII.

    When the rest of the world was moving their dwindling manufacturing industries into new fields, we in Northern Ireland were dodging bombs and bullets (plastic ones as well as real ones) Just as we start to get things on a more level keel (peace, inward investment, slowing of the brain drain, tourism etc) the whole feckin’ world falls apart.

    Economically, Northern Ireland could never stand on its own, not in the forseeable future anyway. But then I would argue as to whether Scotland or Wales could do the same. THAT is why I am a Unionist, the sum of the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts.

    The Irish economy has over performed but the planning and implemention of basic social needs has been some of the worst managed in western Europe (the addressing of poverty, homelessness and unemployment are well below the expectation of a modern capitalist society).

    Economically and socially it is much more beneficial for Northern Ireland to maintain its status as part of the United Kingdom – I guess that is a big reason why the majority living here, regardless of religion or culture, would not vote for a UI tomorrow.

    We can all have our personal beliefs about whatis right or wrong for Northern Ireland,but to return to that word that should direct us all, democracy, the people are the real decision makers when it comes to where we hang our hat.

    As a unionist I will work to offer every resident of Northern Ireland the best benefits of the Union,regardless of their personal wants or beliefs.

  • New Blue

    Fin

    ‘ I’d prefer to think that the fundamental difference between both traditions is not one of a group of people wanting to make a life for themselves opposed to a group of people who want someone else to make a life for them. ‘

    You posted this as I was writing my last bit of Waffle, but I have to comment.

    The whole reason I have spent way too much time on this thread the last couple of days is to prove the point you have elequantly made.

    The reason I am 100% behind the UUP / Conservative alliance is beacuse I believe that we in Northern Ireland have a right to want to make a life for themselves, by getting directly involved in the governing of our lives. The ONLY way that can happen is by mainstreaming UK politics into Northenr Ireland and moving away from the Orange and the Green.

    And before you comment about how much say can a few Northern Ireland Unionists have in the halls of Westminster as part of a Tory Government, maybe you should ask the people of Cork how much say they feel they have in the Dail?

  • Dewi

    I womder if any ONE commenter could honestly say that they would change their mind on the constitutional question for a gift of, say, £12,000?

    That’s the economic argument in a nutshell. Any takers?

  • fin

    “Economically, Northern Ireland could never stand on its own, not in the forseeable future anyway. But then I would argue as to whether Scotland or Wales could do the same. THAT is why I am a Unionist, the sum of the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts.”

    Here we go again, New Blue, you’re right Scotland, Wales, or NI could not stand on their own in the shadow of England. However, I question your sums, the reality is that the 3 smaller states feed of England.

    “Economically and socially it is much more beneficial for Northern Ireland to maintain its status as part of the United Kingdom”

    Isn’t it about time unionists let nationalists into this secret, its mentioned repeatedly but there is never any detail.

    Socially, since its creation NI has lived as 2 communities ripping each other to bits at every opportunity, only managing to create a powersharing goverment almost a century after its creation.

    Economically, well its as I’ve said several times, economics in NI is holding out the begging bowl to the English taxpayers.

    But, aswell as letting nationalists into the secrets of the benefits of the UK, its a pointless excercise unless you hold them up for comparison with the alternatives

  • Driftwood

    The vast numbers of people of irish descent who chose to emigrate to the UK and live good fulfilling lives there (completely integrated) show how shallow the nationalist aspiration is.
    The fact that cultural and social life in the RoI is a carbon copy of England- Premiership, Eastenders, X Factor etc- shows that the RoI is simply a slightly bigger version of the Isle of Man.

  • Dewi

    “The fact that cultural and social life in the RoI is a carbon copy of England- Premiership, Eastenders, X Factor etc- shows that the RoI is simply a slightly bigger version of the Isle of Man.”

    …so what’s the problrm with unification then?

  • New Blue

    Fin

    ‘Isn’t it about time unionists let nationalists into this secret, its mentioned repeatedly but there is never any detail.’

    Since you ask I will try, it all comes down to social provision, Ireland struggles to maintain a second rate social care system, disregarding the basic needs of one of the highest levels of poverty in Western Europe.(http://www.cpa.ie/publications/submissions/2007_Sub _OECD_ReviewIrishPublicService.pdf)

    Someone living in economic difficulty in the UK is likely to be comparably much better off than their Irish counterpart.

    The provision set out for citizens in the UK provides a MUCH greater safety net for those in need than anything that Ireland has ever offered, all this while filling Northern Ireland’s ‘begging bowl. Economically, the addition of Northern Ireland to the Irish economy, even when the Tigers claws were sharpest, would have toppled an, at best, inefficient and incapable social care system.

    I could go on for hours about the lack of acceptable social provision in Ireland, a country that fought so that it can have a state that ignores and hides its most vulnerable and needy.

  • New Blue

    Dewi

    I see no problem with unification.

    The sooner Ireland rejoins the Union the better for all of us.

  • fin

    Driftwood, CSI, The Wire, The Simpsons, Southpark, pretty much anything in the Cinema, Coca Cola, KFC, McDonalds, Burgerking, baseball caps, jeans pulled down to your a*se, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Green Day, ………. you know what I’m saying

    Not to mention control of the UKs nuclear deterent, and overall command of British forces in the middleeast, and of course the airforce bases and other military apparatus……really not a good arguement you’ve picked

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    New Blue

    Don’t you just love the total dishonesty of the UU/Tory/NF argument – lets move away from the politics of Orange and Green by having an Orange solution.

    Obviously somebody in the Tory party just told the UU to keep repeating this party line if people just laugh at it. lol

    Dewi,

    Kaydiff v Leisser – the Leisser Murphys’ are looking dangerous.

  • New Blue

    Sammy

    I’m taking that as tongue-in-cheek, the aim of of this partnership is to show unionists in Northern Ireland that there is more to Unionism than Orangism. Yes this will be a slow (and probably painful) process, but I believe that it will ultimatly bear (neither Orange or Green) fruit.

    But back to politics, at least the UUP are attempting to move things in a direction which aims to lessen the hatred and distrust, unlike certain other parties who have the sole mantra of ‘themmuns is bad’.

  • fin

    Oxfams Website………

    Poverty in the UK

    More than 13 million people in the UK live in poverty – that’s one in five of the population.

    Many people can’t afford essential clothing, or to heat their homes. Children go to school hungry, or to bed without enough food.

    To my knowledge unemployment benefit and state pensions are higher in Ireland.

    New Blue, your away with the fairies, I live in London, I see the poverty, please post details of this superior wellfare system so I can distribute it to people immediately, cos I can tell you noone here is aware of it

  • Dewi

    At least the South is taking serious action to address recession – Labour at Westminster becoming a bit of a laughing stock.

    Sammy – I’ve given up prediction malarkey.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    New Blue,

    “I’m taking that as tongue-in-cheek.” Reality can be trickey – denial is far easier option.

    PBDC arrives here on these shores and lectures the Irish people on tribal politics and then announces he is having a strange-liason-alliance with a deeply sectarin tribal party and identifying himself with the Unionist side in a dispute that we are trying to deal with via the GFA. Worse – he is now aligned with a party trying to stop the implementation of the transfer of police and justice – a key part of the GFA.

    This is potentially a massive boost to the dissidents who will relish Tory interfernce in Norn Iron affairs. Somebody with some sense in the Tory party must be able to see this – do any of them have access to a history book?

  • New Blue

    Fin

    http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/2153.pdf

    Believe me when I say that it is a matter of accepted fact that UK has a much better social provision system than Ireland, that doesn’t mean that poverty and inequality doesn’t exist in the UK, it just means that those in poverty are more likely to be better off than their equivalent in Ireland.

    There is only one of us ‘away with the fairies’ and I’m guessing it isn’t me.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    fin

    Your problem is you don’t want to deal in facts, the people of NI will always be economically better off in the UK. I said that before the reverse metamorphosis of the growling Celtic Tiger into a mewling undernourished kitten.

    If you wish to deal in ideologies and green mists that is up to you, I don’t. The vast majority of the people in NI are worried about jobs, health education and the normal things that people want not the colour of their passport or whether decisions are taken in London or Dublin.

    That is why I favour the United Kingdom as the political solution and I can’t see any circumstances that will change that, short of a massive oil find under Cork or Killarney.

    MR

    A left wing rant when Brown has taken the UK to the edge of bankruptcy is hardly becoming.

    As usual Labour has run out of money as they always do; as they say it is déjà vu all over again. So retire to the backwoods for the next 10 years while the Conservatives sort out the mess they will inherit from Labour and get NI back on the road to solvency.

  • New Blue

    Sammy

    Once again you manage to completly miss the point of the last two days discussions.

    The whole aim of this alliance is to offer an alternative to the Orange and Green fest we have called politics for the last 40+ years.

    As much as you don’t like it Sammy, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, its residents are UK governed by UK laws and those laws are decided at Westminster (and Brussels – but that’s a different issue).

    Every democrat has a right to select their elected representatives, without having the Conservatives, Labour Party and even the Lib Dems standing in Northern Ireland we are allowing ourselves to be sold short.

    This partnership is a first step in the right direction.

  • fin

    New Blue, are you sure you wanted to post that, cos looking at the graph it seems to say that youth poverty in Ireland is circa 12% and 22% in the UK for the whole population, with a few points difference for overall poverty, very thin arguement, than you need to look at where the poverty is distributed in the UK,
    Also “…Interestingly, the ’poverty penalty‘ associated with having children is higher in the UK than in any other country…” not good for future growth.

    say hello to the fairies for me

    FD, “The vast majority of the people in NI are worried about jobs, health education and the normal things”
    Its what I keep saying to you, read my posts, if this is what they worry about why do they leave the decisions in the hands of English and Scottish politicans in a different country instead of taking control of the problems themselves.

  • New Blue

    Fin

    Nice use of the material, but I am sure that you can see that in prior to 2007, at the height of the Tigers powers, Ireland was the only country in the 13 european countries researched that had a whole population poverty rate above 20%.

    I could swamp you with a raft of research from organisations as reputible as JRF showing what a bad job Ireland is doing for its most vulnerable and needy, but sure that doesn’t bother you, you live in London.

    Do the fairies share your house or live at the bottom of your garden?

  • fin

    New Blue what was the poverty rate for the UK? it looks like 19% to me, we seem to be debating 3-4% points so if Ireland is doing a bad job than so is the UK, especiaaly as youth poverty in Ireland is among the lowest, whereas the UK are near the top on both counts. Neither of us are anything like the Germans or Austrians, and I’d like to see the Nordic countries who I’m sure are as good if not better.
    I’ll work out the living arrangements for the fairies when you send them over.

  • New Blue

    Fin

    This is one indicator that shows that Ireland is behind the UK, I shall find electronic versions of similar research showing the failings of the Irish Government in providing for its vulnerable (or you could just google ‘irish governement let down the vulnerable’) and post them here, trust me the Irish Government are one of the worst in Europe in just about every key social indicator.

    Why don’t you ask someone who lives there if you don’t believe me?

  • Driftwood

    new blue
    You have to wonder why so many people chose to leave the paradise that is/was the RoI and live in the UK?
    Maybe fin could tell us

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    New Blue,

    “The whole aim of this alliance is to offer an alternative to the Orange and Green fest we have called politics for the last 40+ years.”

    I think the root cause of the confusion between us relates to the fact that I am talking about NOW and you are talking about an aim/objective i.e. something in the FUTURE that you would like.

    There is a little touch of miss-worlds-question-and-answer to some some of your stuff.

    Q. What are your interests Miss?
    A. I want all the people in the world to live together without beating eight colurs of shit out of each other.

    But, aspirations are fair enough and I dont to unnecessarily negative – but if you will indulge me by exloring the current reality a moment. I will advance a number of points with evidence and you tell the me the FACTUAL inaccuracies in what I have said – backed up with evidence of your own.

    Ready. OK. Lets give it a try.

    Background:
    Norn Iron is deeply divided society and the GFA/STA is the agreed solution to this signed up to by both governments and both communities.

    Point 1: Wee Reggie has indicated he is against implementing what everybody in Nationalism and the 2 governments believe is a crucial part of the GFA ie the transfer of police Powers to Norn Iron until some time in the future.

    Point 2: The DUP appear to have agreed some of sort deal on this with SF and set the process under way.

    Point 3: Unionists whose primary concern is implementing the GFA would be better of voting for the DUP or Alliance to ensure this the transfer of Police.

    Point 4: The UUP appears to have a majority of its elected members belonging to deeply sectarian organisation the OO.

    Point 5: The GFA establishes the legitimate right and mechanisms for the Nationalist population to increase copperation and harmonisation between the 2 part of the island of Ireland as way of bringing about Unification.

    Point 6: The Tory party has moved away from what was an important aspect of buiding of peace in Norn Iron by reversing the statements by the previous Tory government that it had no ‘strategic interest’ in Norn Iron.

    Point 7: The Tory party has opted to align itself with a deeply sectarian organisation – the UU – (see point 5) whose leaders take part in anti-catholic marches and rallies.

    Point 8: The Tory party is taking sides in the legitimate and deeply felt disagreement between Nationalists and Unionists as to what is the best for the constitutional future of Norn Iron.

    Remember – refute with facts not platitudes- and best of luck – conferring with London permitted.

  • fin

    New Blue, most of my family lives there, a question I asked earlier was how pensions and unemployment benefit compared.

    Regarding other research, yes, post it, but if it shows the UK to be comparable I don’t see the point, what you did post and what I highlighted is that I can’t really see much of a difference in the UK and Ireland in %’s. Do you have some killer stats to show me, is that why you don’t comment on the few % points difference in both regions. Where does NI sit in the stats for the UK, apart from living on handouts from the English taxpayer, how do salaries and standards of living compare with the rest of the UK. I travel a bit around the UK and Ireland visiting families and friends and compared to Scotland, England and the South of Ireland (I don’t know any Welsh people) the infrastructure (roads) and public transport (buses and trains) are worse in NI than anywhere, when I was a kid in the the South we were envious of NI’s roads!!! What are the industries I only ever seem to read of Call Centres going to NI, they’re minimum wage!!

    Who gains from NI been a part of the UK?

    For me what it breaks down to is that I see money that is needed in London been shipped out to NI, I see NI never been given a chance to develop because it is permently attached to Englands teat.

    Would British people be concerned if NI left the UK?

    Would NI be any worse off in a united Ireland?

  • New Blue

    Fin

    For a start

    http://www.eapn.ie/documents/15_EAPN PAPER 1.pdf

    Point 8 According to EU measurements (which is agreed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation
    and Development (OECD) the amount in 2006 was e226.29 and the At-risk of
    poverty level was 20%, the third highest in the EU after Lithuania and Poland.

    “The Celtic Tiger in all its glory is certainly playing its part in contributing to the marginalisation and increased poverty being visited on huge numbers of people. Some statistics on the Tigers prowess include:

    Ireland has the second highest proportion of people living in poverty in the industrialised world – second to the United States, the supposed great bastion of freedom and democracy.
    Irish women are worse off, relative to men, than in any other Western country.
    We can boast of the highest level of functional illiteracy of 17 industrialised states (Functional illiteracy is defined as people having difficulty with basic tasks such as following instructions on a medicine bottle or reading a story to a child).
    The second highest level of long-term unemployment among industrialised countries (7.6%) is to be found in the Celtic Tigers lair. Only Spain has higher levels.
    I think that these figures demonstrate clearly whos mauling who in the land of the Celtic Tiger. Not alone that, but the next time someone tries to convince you that we live in a free and democratic society, ask them if the population of those 48 countries referred to above have freedom on a par with those 3 parasites.

    Sean Farrell

    The above was garnered from United Nations Human Development Report 1998 as reported on http://www.struggle.ws/ws98/ws55_un_report.html

    Please feel free to prove how Ireland can offer Northern Ireland better than we have received from the UK, and that is before we get our feet under the political table and take our place as equals to England, Scotland and Wales.

  • New Blue

    Point 1: Wee Reggie has indicated he is against implementing what everybody in Nationalism and the 2 governments believe is a crucial part of the GFA ie the transfer of police Powers to Norn Iron until some time in the future. – Could you Cite the last time this was raised by the UUP, are you sure this is still the position?

    Point 2: The DUP appear to have agreed some of sort deal on this with SF and set the process under way. – Not really a question, but is this not the reason that the DUP threw the toys out of the pram and suspended the Assembly, while the economic bubble started to burst?

    Point 3: Unionists whose primary concern is implementing the GFA would be better of voting for the DUP or Alliance to ensure this the transfer of Police. – I believe I have covered this, but Unionists who believe in the Union and in maintaining Northern Irelands place within the union can ONLY vote UUP

    Point 4: The UUP appears to have a majority of its elected members belonging to deeply sectarian organisation the OO. – Appears Sammy, not a strong argument there, but I also feel that thsi has been covered ‘to death’ in this thread, Rome wasn’t built in a day – and I would appear to believe that the DUP have much closer links to the Orange Order than the UUP – another point for consideration if you are a non bigotted Unionist.

    Point 5: The GFA establishes the legitimate right and mechanisms for the Nationalist population to increase copperation and harmonisation between the 2 part of the island of Ireland as way of bringing about Unification. The GFA does indeed offer improved mechanisms for two neighboring countries to work together, it also offers the democratic right for the citizens of Northern Ireland to decide their future, does it not also require the Republic of Ireland to remove its constitutional claim to Northern Ireland?

    Point 6: The Tory party has moved away from what was an important aspect of buiding of peace in Norn Iron by reversing the statements by the previous Tory government that it had no ‘strategic interest’ in Norn Iron. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, The Conservative Party are a United Kingdom political Party, it is only logical that you require a mandate from all of your electorate

    Point 7: The Tory party has opted to align itself with a deeply sectarian organisation – the UU – (see point 5) whose leaders take part in anti-catholic marches and rallies. Sammy, this is close to repeating yourself, as I have already said, this issue has been covered elsewhere in this thread, Unionism is NOT Orangism, but the individuals right to freedom of expression is still a democratic right

    Point 8: The Tory party is taking sides in the legitimate and deeply felt disagreement between Nationalists and Unionists as to what is the best for the constitutional future of Norn Iron.
    The Conservative party, as a campaigning party in the United Kingdom, is doing what all UK political parties should have done since the 1920’s – the fact that one of the factions you name is the Unionists, does that not mean that they are part of the Union and therefore govererned by the government of the Union?

    Remember – refute with facts not platitudes- and best of luck – conferring with London permitted.

    I’ve done my best here Sammy, as a political Newbie, No contact with Fin or any other part of London was necessary.

  • fin

    New Blue, your fist Link won’t open for me, but this one from the same website did, graph on page 12 is interesting

    http://www.cso.ie/releasespublications/documents/silc/Current/silc.pdf

    regarding the UNHD, er would that be these guys,

    http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/

    because according to them Ireland is 5th in the world and the UK 21st.

    BTW, New Blue, I’ve mentioned it a few times but you never seem to come back to me, where does the UK sit in all the studies (apart from 21st with the UNDP)

    Geez a century on and still waiting to get your feet under the political table, How is Mrs Hermon these days still reluctant to be a Tory.

  • fin

    Ah New Blue it opened for me, I see poverty is now only at 17% what is it in the UK,

    bloody hell jobseekers is 197.80 euro is that a week, what is it in the UK?

  • ??

    Point 6: The Tory party has moved away from what was an important aspect of buiding of peace in Norn Iron by reversing the statements by the previous Tory government that it had no ‘strategic interest’ in Norn Iron. ……….

    no it hasnt. THe Tories made that statement in the context of reunification.

    (Downing street declaration: “The Prime Minister, on behalf of the British Government, reaffirms that they will uphold the democratic wish of a greater number of the people of Northern Ireland on the issue of whether they prefer to support the Union or a sovereign united Ireland. On this basis, he reiterates, on behalf of the British Government, that they have no selfish strategic or economic interest in Northern Ireland. Their primary interest is to see peace, stability and reconciliation”

    Cameron has already stated he will back Irish unity if a majority (50%+1) wants it. Are you aware of any selfish strategic interest of the Tories that would block that?

  • ??

    Point 3: Unionists whose primary concern is implementing the GFA would be better of voting for the DUP or Alliance to ensure this the transfer of Police…………..

    Dont you know SIr Reg is in favour of the Belfast Agreement?

  • ??

    Point 1: Wee Reggie has indicated he is against implementing what everybody in Nationalism and the 2 governments believe is a crucial part of the GFA ie the transfer of police Powers to Norn Iron until some time in the future……..

    If reg is against this, how come his tories buddies are for it, and why did they want to devolve P+J to SInn Fein in 2005??

  • New Blue

    I see the art of spin is with you Fin 😉

    try this one

    http://www.cso.ie/releasespublications/documents/other_releases/2006/progress2006/measuringirelandsprogress.pdf

    Worse unemployment, marked less spending in social protection expenditure (10% of GDP as opposed to UK’s 26.3%)

    This shows that, regardless of your attempts to wriggle, Ireland spends less on its vulnerable than the UK, Which was my point to you originally.

    Does that make you the Fairy King?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Sammy

    Keep right on, you are telling UK supporters why they should vote for the CU’s and not the DUP.

    And do you know, I agree with you on something at least!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD, True Blue

    based on the FACTS as discussed here over the last few days the following is a reasonable reflection on the current state of the UU and the Tories in the specified areas.

    I do agree that many sensible, secular Unionists genuinely see the link as a way to remove some of the problems outlined below and this is a laudable, if misguided, aspiration.

    Police and Justice
    The evidence currently suggests that UU are against implementing the GFA/STA in relation to Police and Justice (which based on the gleeful reply by FD like Wee Reggie there is a presumption it will win the UU votes at the expense of the DUP).

    UU Sectarianism
    The evidence of sectarianism based on the membership of the OO is not challenged by any fact by– just an aspiration to improve and the suggestion that the DUP are worse.
    (The unfortunate phrase by New Blue that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is a real gem.)

    The Tories and Sectarianism
    In spite of the total unacceptability of such views in Britain the Tory party does not appear to have any problem with members (as in UU members) themselves being members of a deeply sectarian organisation- the OO.

    The Tories and Tribal Politics
    The Tory party is taking an ideological position in favour of the Union although there are 2 legitimate aspirations available to the people of Norn Iron and a mechanism to achieve a UI via the GFA. The Tories want to remove tribal politics by getting everybody to agree with them – that’s exactly what nationalists are trying to do as well. This cannot fairly be described as a movement away from tribal politics.

    Before bidding you good evening – my prediction for the Euros is for the UU to get under 100,000 votes but narrowly get the third seat. Whats yours?

  • fin

    Ah New Blue, dear oh dear, you link to an old poverty table from 2005 and I link to the most recent one which shows poverty has reduced from 20% to 17% and ask you what the poverty level is in the UK, your reply, a link to the same 2005 table, shocking.

    Regarding your latest link it is a wealth of information. What you have failed to take into consideration in your post is firstly according to the data you’ve kindly posted, Irelands GDP is second only (at the time) to Luxemburg and the UK was several places below, so already by only quoting percentiles you are been a tad guilty of spinning. Your second error was not recognising that Ireland has the 2nd lowest % of people over 65 (after Slovakia) and the 3rd lowest unemployment rate in the EU and in 2005 the lowest long term unemployment rate in the EU. Therefore with a high GDP and a low need for social spending Ireland can pay a superior state pension, better unemployment benefit, and reduce poverty over the last few years from 20% to 17%.

    Now then speaking of poverty, the easiest way to employ them in jobs paying over the poverty threshold, Ireland has the highest % of under 15 year olds in the EU so its not possible.

    In fact they won’t get jobs for a while, because the data you posted shows that Ireland has fewer early school leavers than the UK, along with smaller classes and a lower teacher pupil ratio (BTW them kids gave Ireland the second highest reading literacy for 15 year old students among participating EU countries in 2003)

    Pretty much much leaves health, according to your data, Ireland spends a bit more on health.

    Have I miss anything?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Sammy

    We don’t have problems with members from any legal non political organisation; it however brings them no privileges.

    You have a fixation with the OO, give it up it’s not healthy. It is a legal religious, historical, non political organisation and as such must therefore be sectarian; as must, for example, opus dei and even possibly the GAA, we would also welcome their members.

    Nationalists are not a tribe they are a political group who members are mainly from one ‘tribe’, the CU’s are also a political group who have members from several ‘tribes’. Therefore you analysis is flawed.

    P&J has nothing to do with anthing other that practical politics, it is fully supported but only when the time is right where it can go to any politican from whatever party. That just isn’t the case now.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Frustrated Democrat,

    “You have a fixation with the OO”

    OK heres the deal – you stop making claims that you cant back up that the Tory/UU NF Alliance are non-sectarian and I will stop pointing out the actual facts.

    I appreciate that it can be difficult to keep up with current affairs but to suggest “P&J has nothing to do with anthing other that practical politics” given it led to the suspesnsion of assembly business and SF support for police was conditional on the British and Unionists agreeing
    to it’s transfer is really pushing it.

    But I welcome you conceding that the UU are currently against implementing the last part of the GFA making out of step with both governments and Nationalism and as far as we can tell the DUP.

    This is clearly a difficult issue for the DUP and the ‘new’ politics of the funny alliance is to try and make it even more difficult. Top stuff.

    Prediction for the Euros the UU/Tory/NF to get more than 100,000?

  • It’s not that the UUP are all paid-up Orange bigots. It’s just the Party’s ability to lend a hand when the real bigots are short-handed.

    I see from the above that my (generous) reference to George Osborne and a (critical) comment about Alistair Darling’s budget, together with verification from the Economist, amounted to a leftist “rant”. Strange world. Strange people in it.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Sammy

    You have given no facts as to why YOU think the CU’s are sectarian.

    Note: the fact that some of their members are in the OO and the GAA is not acceptable proof.

  • slug

    Cameron has stated that no conservative government under him would be neutral on the union. That does not mean they would ignore the wishes of NI. But it does mean he would be a ‘persuader’ for NI remaining in the UK.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD,

    First you ask me not to mention the OO – then you ask me why the UU party are sectarian. Well you cant have it both ways. Prove something without using the proof?

    I think we can all agree that the OO is a deeply sectarian organsiation and many/most/all UU elected members belong to it – it is therefore reasonable to conclude that the UU is a deeply sectarian organisation.

    That does not mean all UU members are sectarian but the character of the party as indicated by the allegiances of its prominent members is sectarian. To be elected many members of the UU feel they must assoicate themselves with an organisation which is anti-Catholic and has a shocking record in community relations as recognised by the British government (who they are supposed to be loyal to) introducing special legislation to curtail its ‘cultural’ activiities.

    Have you have enough OO talk or are keen for some more?

  • fin

    “But it does mean he would be a ‘persuader’ for NI remaining in the UK.”

    Amen, finally, nationalists will hear a coherent reasoned arguement why the union with Britain is better than a united Ireland. Its taken a century, is there a timetable in place for this? will it be TV, web, or newspaper based, or will it be recorded messages as he seems to use alot (NI is a bit of a trek from London) I hope New Blue isn’t his researcher ; )

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Sammy

    Is that the best you can do. The CU’s are therefore equally sectarian since they have members in the GAA.

    Is for example SF a terrorist organisation since many of its members were in the IRA?

    Is for example SF sectarian because many of its members are in the GAA?

    Is for example SF sectarian because the vast majority of its members are Catholic?

    You see where your logic leads – nowhere. Give up your obsession.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    FD,
    As mentioned above, you stop making false claims that the UU are not-sectarian and I will stop mentioning the OO.

    I think to be fair to you, based on your last reply, that part of your reasoning is based on confusion over what sectarianism is – so let me set out for a reasonable description as it might apply to an organisation in Norn iron.

    My contention is simple – if the UU shares a large overlap of membership with a deeply sectarian organisation then it is reasonable to conclude that it, itself is deeply sectarian. If there are any factual inaccuracies then let me know.

    The OO as an organisation may fairly be deemed to be sectarian as it meets the following criteria:

    Although not a religion itself, it confines membership to a certain religion or group of religions and specifically excludes other religions.

    The organisation has a history of denigrating other religions, particularly publically and without due regard to its impact on community relations.

    The organisation’s organised activities due not give due regard to their impact on communities that do not share their ethos and particularly to those communities whose religion they seek to denigrate.

    The leadership of the organisation due not sufficiently discourage activities that might encourage disrespect for other religions such as the burning of effigies associated with those of other religions.

    The organisation believes that certain positions in society can only be held those who adhere to particular religion and believes others should be specifically excluded on the basis of their religion.

    The organisation discourages members from involvement in cross-religion ecumenical services.

    Many within Unionism may argue that the list above is minor when compared to SFs support for, and refusal to condemn, what many Unionists perceive as their sectarian war against the Unionist people and may condemn the GAA as sectarian for their Republican commemorations – and I am more than happy to move on from the OO ( as even I am getting bored with it) but that is SEPARATE discussion and has feck all to do with sectarianism within the UU.

    It is also true that many decent Prods abhor this sectarianism and see the new alliance as a way to retain their Uninoism and yet present a more reasonable face – but lets not pretend that because of this laudable aspriation there is not a major problem as outlined above.

  • New Blue

    Sammy

    To go back to the beginning of this thread, I have set my stall out clearly.

    As a Non sectarian Unionist, I see the opportunity to move things on, beyond Orange and Green, beyond ‘ussuns’ and ‘themmuns’.

    The fact that finally, after so many years of sitting on the fence, one of the parties responsible for the governing of Northern Ireland actually accepts that Northern Ireland is a full member of the UK,is a good thing, for both Unionism ans for Northern Ireland.

    I know that you are a Nationalist, and a united Ireland, away from any involvement from the UK is the only future you want to see. I accept your desire for independence and support your right to peacefully work towards that goal.

    I believe that you accept that I am a Unionist, and not in the distorted Northern Ireland use of the word, but in a broader UK sense.

    People who think like me have been joining the UUp on the back of this alliance, not because we hate catholics, not because we support the Orange Order, not because we want to put down the rebels, but because we see the safe and comfortable future for every citizen within the UK.

    I understand that the Orange Order is a sticking point for you, I have already gone on record in giving my opinions, as a Unionist, on that particular organisation.

    You say you want change, but you don’t seem to understand that change is often slow and can only successfully happen from within.

    You have already been granted the mechanism which allows you to convince a majority of the population of Northern Ireland to vote for a United Ireland, making that argument irrelevant.

    What I, and the growing swell from all backgrounds, are proposing is trying to help make things better, by moving things forward, bynot cosistantly harping about what you did back then.

    We have seen a lot of change, 90% for the better in the last ten years, but we have only scratched the surface of what we need to do to start healing the damage.

    Northern Ireland is currently a part of the UK, we all have to accept the fact, whether we want to or not, let’s try and change the things that get our backs up, slowly and in a way that allows us to work together.

    The other options are unlikely to benefit anyone.

  • slug

    One shouldn’t be hostile to people from belongong to Protestant organisations, like the OO, provided they take a view that is consistent with the party. But there has long in NI been a need to attract new talent into politics, and I think part of the stated objectives of the CU alliance is to bring new people into politics, people who previously didn’t do politics, people like New Blue, so that the CU alliance comprises people from all of NI society that share a broad Conservative and Unionist political vision.