“Maybe we don’t know who we are or where we are going.”

Brian has already noted Liam Clarke’s thoughts on Gerry Adams’ role, and its impact on Sinn Féin’s fortunes in the Republic of Ireland. In the Sunday Tribune, however, the focus of the political correspondent Conor McMorrow, is on the resignations from the party there and on Toiréasa Ferris’ comments. Apparently there is to be a special meeting of the party’s Ard Chomhairle, Oireachtas members and Northern Ireland MLAs, and the party’s “middle tier of leadership” in August to “assess the post-election situation, make plans for the Lisbon campaign and discuss how the party can help ‘ordinary workers under attack in resisting cuts to essential public services, rates of pay'”. From the Sunday Tribune [now linked]

A party strategist has told the Sunday Tribune that the problems in the party are much more deep-seated as they go beyond the election results and are related to the peace process. “If you read between the lines, a lot of people are basically saying they have problems with the peace process. they are starting to realise that it is not going to deliver a united Ireland,” he said.

Well, that would explain the World Tour [for Irish Unity]. It’s not exactly lowering expectations, of course. But as then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said, “people will just have to be tolerant of that if it’s not possible to bring it any further.”And continuing in the Sunday Tribune article

A sitting councillor echoed these views and said: “Maybe we don’t know who we are or where we are going. My grievance with the party is that we don’t have any date in mind for a united Ireland. the peace process has been great and this country has achieved so much since the 1994 ceasefire. I am not saying there will be a return to violence either, as anybody who was going to leave for that reason has long gone, but I do think the time has come where we need to cement a definite plan for a united Ireland and work towards that.”

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  • percy

    The peace process was always about creating a safe space, within which to advance the arguements for unity for Republicans; and/or be persuaders for the status quo with GB to continue for unionists.
    In between these competing narratives, or polar opposites, there is the daily realities of a shared future to be administered at Stormont, which will always be a kind of tug-of-war.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Pete, I see, how interesting, another post on the same topic – is Grizzly an international star? is his party about to disappear? did some party members misunderstand the peace process?

    Is the old telescope on the blink?

  • cynic

    “we don’t have any date in mind for a united Ireland”

    How can you set one? Its not in your gift. In essence it will be decided by the majority in the North so, unless you win the Prods over, it wont happen in any of our lifetimes. And the Denizens of down south want it like a hole in the head at the moment. Indeed as the European ideal broadens narrow sectarian nationalism as practiced by the Shinners (inheritors of the leadership of the True Celtic Nation TM)will be seen as more and more of a cultural relic.

    So now you have to develop a new style of SF politics. The politics of agreement not grievance. Of engagement, not sloganising. So do the Unionists and you each have to persuade the other of that.

    After years of bingeing on slogans like ‘Brits out’ the hangover has arrived and you have realised that there are about 1 million of them sitting here looking at you and they arent going out anywhere. Their familes have been here for as long as yours. They are just as Irish as you are but they also feel British

    Now undoubtedly you can hang on in the North, wrapped in an Irish flag and shouting ‘we was robbed / misled / oppressed’ at each election but, in truth, that’s the road to a sectarian political ghetto. All those who count in London, Dublin and Washington have heard it all before. They have given you their time for almost 15 years and may conclude that you have squandered it. They are also preoccupied with their own problems that are much bigger than yours and more pressing so girning (as we say in the more refined areas of Belfast) wont get you anywhere.

    So now, frankly, it’s time to put up or shut up politically.

    Politics for Slow Learners II ????

  • cynic

    “is his party about to disappear?”

    no but the moths have been at its policies and some of the members have deluded themselves and voters by sniffing too many green white and gold striped mothballs from the leadership

  • Paul

    It’s quite obvious really. SF have realised that most people in NI don’t really want a united Ireland after all. So they can face a decline, probably like the SDLP, until the next sectarian fight by extremist fruitloops starts up again.

    NI will remain part of the UK for a long time to come. To cement the ideal of the Union the unionists really need to get out of their sectarian core group and start talking to people of all creeds and dispensations. A consensus built around mainstream parties needs to be built. If I lived in NI I’d want to be voting for actual policies and politicians now (conservative; social liberal; socialist; libertarian etc), not just about how hardline someone is on Keeping Ulster British.

  • Anonymous

    [i]After years of bingeing on slogans like ‘Brits out’ the hangover has arrived and you have realised that there are about 1 million of them sitting here looking at you and they arent going out anywhere. Their familes have been here for as long as yours. They are just as Irish as you are but they also feel British

    Now undoubtedly you can hang on in the North, wrapped in an Irish flag and shouting ‘we was robbed / misled / oppressed’ at each election but, in truth, that’s the road to a sectarian political ghetto.[/i]

    As an Irish republican it absolutely kills me to admit that your analysis is entirely accurate. Very well said.

    [i]SF have realised that most people in NI don’t really want a united Ireland after all. [/i]

    Yes, but a sizeable minority, at least 40%, do.

  • Pete Baker

    Cynic

    Indeed.

  • Greenflag

    ‘but I do think the time has come where we need to cement a definite plan for a united Ireland and work towards that.”

    Definite ? Has that sitting councillor got an ounce of grey matter between his ears ? The only plan that will or could work is for SF members to stay home with your wives and/or partners and start breeding . Violence won’t achieve a UI -neither will ‘normal politics ‘ -neither will persuading Unionists .

    So by default and as was recognised by the Presbyterian Minister of Castlerock back in the 1930’s the only way the ‘Unionists’ will ever be got into UI is if they are ‘outbred ‘ simple as that as quoted by Marcus Tanner in ‘Ireland’s Holy Wars’

    An unpleasant fact of life perhaps but then there it is . Following a national conference SF could announce the Grand Republican Irish Partnership Embryonic Strategy ( GRIPES )and plan on a time frame of say 40 years . Party members (females) who exceed the horizontal strategy minimum target of 5 would be awarded the Green Cross . Those with 6 to their credit would receive the Grand Cross of Green . Those with seven ( the magic number) would be awarded the Grand Green Cross of St Patrick & St Bridget plus a cash award of 10,000 pounds and an extra 5,000 pounds for every child thereafter . Those who have 10 children or more will be awarded a life time pension of 2,000 pounds a week for their service to the nation .

    The main problem with this strategy is that the other side could retaliate with a similar paln and then where would it lead ? Well I suppose Canada and Ausralia are still fairly empty eh ?

    I still think a fair ‘repartition ‘ of NI would save a lot of bother and hassle and the cursed political abomination that is the present NI would be replaced by two states that have the vast majority of both their populations in synch with the States ‘new’ borders.

  • DC

    Private sector investment and reduction in big public sector money will create a more likely dynamic for EU style integration with the connection to the Republic.

    Frankly SF are not equipped in personnel or in entrepreneurial thought to do either of that which is required; FF were a good deal more capable and contemplated a move north then everything went bankrupt. Much the same econmic circs in Britain too tbh.

    The peace process was a funny old thing, in the end they the real sovereigns left it in the hands of the people to decide, despite wishes of both political sides to do exactly the opposite as it would have had more potent leverage. Either closing out the option altogether or to make moves towardsgleichshaltung. Clearly neither happened.

    And well it’s over democracy, views and rational persuasion or perhaps a mix of it all coming together in the right circumstances. Or as Ahern said it may never come to pass so soon and to be tolerant. That’s the way she goes.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “shared future” that would be the “shared future” that some were too honest to be allowed to “share”.

    I hope someone will be able to explain to my children why their future in Northern Ireland was fuckin sacrificed….

  • Dubious exile

    “the peace process has been great and this country has achieved so much since the 1994 ceasefire”
    ??????????????????????????

  • cynic

    “Yes, but a sizeable minority, at least 40%, do” want a United Ireland

    And thats something the Unionsts ahev toa ccommodate too

  • Driftwood

    David Cameron has been trying to address the issue. Vote Conservative and Unionist, and be both Irish and British. Or either.
    We’re going to have a Unionist government at Westminster for the next 8 years. Nationalists need to forget the past and become part of changing things within the United Kingdom.
    If they don’t wish to be part of that, fine. But there’s not a damn thing they can do about it. And it’s no big deal.

    Brilliant Leonard Cohen concert at the Odyssey tonight, still on a high!

  • gimpy

    [i]We’re going to have a Unionist government at Westminster for the next 8 years.[/i]

    If the Labour Party i.e. the Prince of Darkness, finally comes to its senses over the summer and acknowledges that there’s absolutely no way that Gordy can win the next election then I wouldn’t be so sure about that. With Johnson or Mandy at the helm, and the recession dampening, they stand a chance next May. However, with unemployment continuing to rise it’d be all to play for. My prediction is that, if ZaNuLab ditches Brown, we’ll have a hung Parliament with the Limp Dems being seduced into coalition and a Chancellor Cable.

    Now so long, Gordy, it’s time that we began planing without your deep-rooted psychological flaws.

  • wild turkey

    Driftwood

    ditto on leonard.

    the ensemble playing was gifted and tight.

    leonard has stayed true to himself;his art and beliefs, but has moved with times.

    maybe there’s a message there for,uh, who knows?

    time to put the headphones on

  • cynic

    Gimpy

    A hung parliament dependent on all those DUP votes? Great prospect but still en even more Unionist one.

    But its a non-starter. It’s not just the issue of Brown. This is Zombie Govrenment now. They are tired faiures bereft of new ideas. When Brown goes the Party will split apart as the rats blame each other, fight for the last morsels of cheese, etc.

    And the fundamental issue is that the elctorate want RID of them all

  • Driftwood

    Whatever one’s political allegances, where do people see the Stormont Assembly going, in the medium to long term?
    I’d like someone, Unionist, Nationalist or neither to honestly assess this IMHO white elephant.
    It enacts little if any legislation, has no power over anything really important (Westminster controls the economy)and is a standing joke in terms of the debates conducted there.
    It’s a gravy train, and everyone bloody knows it.

  • Driftwood

    wild turkey

    Were you there? I thought the musicianship was outstanding. And Leonard was incredible, a poet and incredible singer. magic. Initially in January I thought it was expensive, but worth every penny, I was blown away tonight. ‘Closing Time’ at the end was superlative. Will live long in the memory. Unlike the trumpton assembly.

    submit word here; truth

  • gimpy

    [i]A hung parliament dependent on all those DUP votes? Great prospect but still an even more Unionist one.[/i]

    Indeed, but with the “problems” facing Ulster unionism at the minute there is the distinct prospect that, with a three-way split in the vote this time, the situation resulted in Old McDonnell taking South Belfast could be repeated in, maybe, North Belfast, E. Derry and Upper Bann. Unlikely, but you never know. Anyways, regardless of that speculation, as far as I am aware the DUP ain’t exactly flavour of the month among the Tory leadership, a situation compounded by the UCUNF set-up. Still, one can be sure that the lure of power in, what may well be, a post-Assembly political environment will result in some strange behaviour and political love-making.

    [i]But its a non-starter. It’s not just the issue of Brown. This is Zombie Govrenment now. They are tired faiures bereft of new ideas. When Brown goes the Party will split apart as the rats blame each other, fight for the last morsels of cheese, etc.

    And the fundamental issue is that the elctorate want RID of them all [/i]

    Yes, but bizarrely, only in Crewe and Nantwich has it been demonstrated that Labour voters are willing to vote Tory. In the European election and in Norwich North this did not happen. Instead, the votes which Labour lost were overwhelmingly as a result of their voters not bothering to come to the polls and, to a much lesser extent and mostly in the north of England, defections to the BNP. If Mandy can ram, as it were, the message home that if Labour voters sit on their hands once again then the result will be the Nasty Party returns to power, you never know what might happen… Well, if the situation plays out with Brown in power we do – they simply won’t go out and vote.

  • George

    Cynic,
    They are just as Irish as you are but they also feel British.

    This sums it all up.

    Feel British? Isn’t it amazing that when it’s necessary to have a go at the madness of the hopes of the Irish minority in Northern Ireland, unionists are as Irish as the rest of us on this island and naturally also “feel” British but when it’s time to assert the union they morph into people who are quintessentiallly British but who also feel Irish.

    The Irish nation really needs people like this when it faces problems that are, as you say, “much bigger than yours”.

    So now, frankly, it’s time to put up or shut up politically.

    True, if you want to play the game set by the powers that be. Otherwise it’s the same as it ever was.

    The people in the Republic know what Sinn Féin stand for but they simply aren’t buying. Why? Because Sinn Féin have the same amount of respect and, more importantly, loyalty to our State as unionists do.

    And in the end of the day, the priority of the 4.2 million citizens of the Republic is the Republic. We can’t afford to indulge those who feel one nationality one day and another one the next.

    You know: Those who don’t know who they are or where they are going.

  • Erasmus

    Driftwood,
    Please focus on the records of Conservative governments who traditionally, in opposition, make cosmetic pro-unionist noises when they actually get into power:
    Heath: the suspension of Stormont and Sunningdale.
    Thatcher: the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
    Make no mistake, if Cameron after the election sees no advantage in cosying up to unionism then he will cast them aside like a cynical love rat and cosy up to the ROI which is another sovereign EU state and therefore a potential useful ally.

  • Driftwood

    Erasmus
    I have no problems with either Heaths decision to prorogue Stormont, and in hindsight, although I pavlovianly disputed it at the time, Thatchers agreement with Fitzgerald (decent bloke).
    I have no problem with Cameron suspending Stormont either, and/or utilising Enda Kenny in an advisory capacity ,if necessary , when Direct rule is (hopefully soon) reintroduced.
    I have more problems with our governments’ new European partners like Kaminski.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Keep up the good work Pete. If you’re annoying the likes of “itwassammymcnallywhatdoneit” you know you are winning. I love watching him squirm as he tries to blame you for picking on provisional sinn fein/ira. Keep up the good work in exposing them.

  • Dewi

    What would be interesting to know would be the geographical split of SF membership North v South. Is this available anywhere?

  • Dewi

    SF polled 11.2% in the Euros in the South. Not spectacular but far from disastrous.

  • Too indeed. this is what makes unique and interesting to another articles. thanks for posting.

    Cheshire dentist

  • Guest

    “David Cameron has been trying to address the issue. Vote Conservative and Unionist, and be both Irish and British. Or either. ”

    A large portion of ni’s population are Irish and not British.Why would they need to vote conservative when it is already agreed in the Belfast agreement that they have the right to be Irish without having to be also British?

    “The old building stands well enough, though part Gothic, part Grecian, and part Chinese, until an attempt is made to square it into uniformity. Then indeed it may come down upon our heads, all together, in much uniformity of ruin; and great will be the fall thereof” (1769))-Edmund Burke.

  • Billy

    Driftwood

    I agree with you that the assembly is a white elephant. However, the only way that Direct Rule will come back is if the assembly collapses locally.

    The UK govt (even Cameron) does NOT want to run NI. Frankly, it’s an embarassment and a pain that any UK govt would rather do without.

    I don’t know why any Unionist is wasting time drooling over a potential hung govt – it’s pretty unlikely to happen. As far as I can see – the current govt is only making itself even more unpopular and almost guaranteeing Cameron a massive majority.

    I agree with you that we’re likely to have a Tory govt for 8 years at least. I also agree that Nationalists can’t live in the past. However, there is a hugh onus on the UUP to demonstrate that the days of being dominated by the OO and Catholics being second class citizens are gone.

    To be fair to Cameron, he’s no bigot and I’m sure he doesn’t want his party associated with bigotry. Empey may have moved on but there are still plenty in the UUP who will be mistrusted by Catholics (Unionist or not!).

    As a moderate Nationalist, I have always accepted that we must accept the will of the NI majority which for the foreseeable future is to remain in the UK.

    That’s fine. However, it does not preclude us for working towards a democratic UI. Nor does it preclude us from standing up for our civil rights and/or refusing to accept things like the DUP trying to give millions to the IFA and shafting the GAA.

    To be fair, I don’t think that’s the type of NI that Cameron wants or will tolerate. I’m sure
    many Unionists realise that things have moved on.
    However, it needs to be made clear that a Conservative govt will not give the DUP or anyone else a licence to deny Catholics their full rights as citizens.

  • elvis parker

    ‘A large portion of ni’s population are Irish and not British.Why would they need to vote conservative when it is already agreed in the Belfast agreement that they have the right to be Irish without having to be also British?’

    I think the point being made is that people should vote on issues .i.e for the Conservatives to start getting us out of this economic hole REGARDLESS of whether they are British or Irish.

  • Comrade Stalin

    cynic:

    After years of bingeing on slogans like ‘Brits out’ the hangover has arrived and you have realised that there are about 1 million of them sitting here looking at you and they arent going out anywhere.

    Jaysus, not this “one million unionists” bollocks again.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Driftwood,

    I agree with what Billy is saying here. Asking for direct rule to come back quickly is like turkeys voting for Christmas. The British had a miserable time running this place and they don’t want to go back to it.

    Direct rule is bad in other respects. It sends out the signal that we, as an electorate, can continue voting for the same useless politicians and we won’t pay the price for doing so. It encourages bad decisions and irresponsibility. The government up at Stormont is not a good one, but people need to understand that you can’t fix that by taking it away. Nobody is suggesting that Westminster be abolished and a dictatorship imposed because of the deep corruption exposed during the expenses scandals, but this is what you’re proposing for NI.

  • “The government up at Stormont is not a good one”

    Comrade Stalin, do you have a cunning plan that would produce better government here than that which presently exists in the other administrations in the UK and Ireland? I suspect the constitutional question will continue to look large.

  • Neil

    We have the government we deserve pretty much, the only way it can change is with a change of attitude within the electorate. How to produce that change in attitude? More hardship I reckon. A worse recession, with worse swine flu might give people a different perspective.

    But the problem always boils down to the same thing, where Driftwood has repeated the idea that direct rule would be the best for us all, let’s just impose it, it kind of makes a mockery of democracy. Why should we bother voting for what we want – we being the majority of the people in NI, the non-UU voters, if you say that the UU (by no means the largest party here) will just impose the direct rule their voters desire?

  • Guest

    Elvis,
    “I think the point being made is that people should vote on issues .i.e for the Conservatives to start getting us out of this economic hole REGARDLESS of whether they are British or Irish. ”

    The conservatives have no new wonderful economic policy.We are suffering from a global downturn and there will most likely be a continuous and slow upturn over the next ten years no matter who is running Britain.Even if they did have a miracle cure there remains the problem of Northern Ireland Unionists losing its voice to a Tory and therefore English Whip,in the event of there being a swing towards the CUNF.There is tacit acceptance in the UUPs moves into the torys that unionism is unheard at Westminister.They have decided to throw in the towel on proper Northern Irish representation and gone for integration.As I stated in the event of swing to this new unionist creature,the views of northern Ireland voters would no longer have any importance at all and that would be a fatal wound to unionism in the long-term(of course individual UUP members would get great pensions!).The DUP would distance themselves further from the British establishment and continue to find common ground with their fellow Irishmen(and cattle)-the ones who stand up for Irishmen in Europe and on the international stage without going through Westminister.
    However,the UUP’s Trimble-driven agenda of integration by stealth will fail simply because the party itself has not gripped the Belfast Agreement’s concept of a shared past.They want everyone to move on the basis of unionism when even the dogs in the street know that the principle of consent is undermined by nationalist/unionist designation within Stormont and North-south bodies that testify to the uniqueness of NI within the UK.

  • Guest

    Elvis,

    Sorry,went off on a tangent there.
    My point concerning “issue” voting is simply that we don’t get to vote on individual issue but to elect individuals/parties who have broad lines on many matters usually fitting into a resonant political philosophy.In Northern Ireland the verses might be of interest but the Chorus is either green or orange, and indeed, the political philosophy is hugely mandated by that chorus.

  • fair_deal

    Sinn Fein’s problem is the two tensions – for electoral success in the south it needed to become the party for the ‘outsider’ of RoI society – the sections of the urban working class and the geographic perpihery who believed/percieved/were left behind by the Celtic tiger but a central plank of its peace strategy was to get into power in the south.

    The ‘outsiders’ would never have delivered huge numbers of seats but it didn’t need to it just needed to deliver enough – the balance of power.

    The early successes led Sinn Fein to think it had that section of society in the bag, developed dreams of replacing the Labour party and thus they began their headlong rush to get into government, proiducing policies that were supposed to have broader appeal and didn’t think there would be political fall-out from things like the Northern Bank robbery.

    They weren’t in the bag. Being too willing to go into government and especially to focus the political price for participation in government on Northern Ireland undermined their role as reps of the outsiders and that they had their interest at heart with SF ending up as Ferris has described.

  • ‘no but the moths have been at its policies and some of the members have deluded themselves and voters by sniffing too many green white and gold striped mothballs from the leadership.’

    Like it Cynic, you touched a fools nerve there! lol

    http://kennedycartoons.com

  • Quagmire

    If there is no serious movement towards Irish unity within the next 10 – 15 years SF will loose all credibility and support it now enjoys within the Republican heartlands and there will be another war which will make the last one look like a picnic. Its not the way I would like to see things go but its the way its gonna go as I see it.

  • Greenflag

    ‘If there is no serious movement towards Irish unity within the next 10 – 15 years SF will loose all credibility and support it now enjoys within the Republican heartlands and there will be another war which will make the last one look like a picnic.’

    Complete and utter tripe. Look South and remember what happened after 1932 when the ‘Republican’s under De Valera came to power promising an end to partition etc etc . Following the ‘economic ‘war with the UK and the much later ‘world’ tour by Sean MacBride to persuade everybody in the Anglophone world of the merits of the cause of Irish unification the Southern electorate finally woke up to the fact that hot air always rises but that’s all it does . It’s only useful if enclosed in a balloon in which case it helps to give any passengers a different perspective . But sooner or later a return to earth is inevitable and it’s on earth or in particular on a particular piece of earth that the greatest opposition to a UI exists and that is within NI among the majority of it’s population – a small majority perhaps but we have all signed up to an agreement which recognises the right of that majority to vote itself into a UI if it so wishes .

    If the members of SF want a UI they need to start breeding instead of bleating . They could also try politics but that’s a tough call these days when even the vastly more experienced career politicians of the UK and Republic haven’t a clue which way to turn in the midst of this economic recession.

  • Greenflag

    Comrade Stalin ,

    ‘The British had a miserable time running this place and they don’t want to go back to it.’

    Cue Fr Jack Hackett

    ‘I’m so so soooooooooh sorry ‘ 😉

  • Greenflag

    Cue extra-Victor Meldrew

    ‘I don’t believe it ‘

  • oldruss

    If and when, and everyone seems to pretty much assume it will be sooner rather than later, the Conservative Party takes a majority in Commons, will there be any Ulster Unionist/Conservatives from the north of Ireland there to witness Cameron’s ascention? Lady Sylvia Hermon, perhaps, but she’s not likely to be given a particularly plum cabinet post by Mr. Cameron, now is she?

    When Cameron takes Downing Street absent the support of Peter Robinson’s DUP, even if the DUP continue to hold the seats they presently hold (with one or two possibly sliding over to the TUV), Unionists collectively will have little more clout in the next Commons than they’ve enjoyed under Labour.

    The influence any stripe of Unionist has on UK politics, that is, on the things about which Westminster and Downing Street deal, seems rather remote at the moment. Perhaps the thrill of rising to one’s feet and addressing the Commons is what it is all about, whether or not anyone is actually listening.

  • Ulster Native

    From the majority of posts i’ve seen from this person, it seems this topic poster is infatuated with any sort of ‘bad publicity’ of Sinn Féin……..and never the opposite.
    I don’t frequent the blog here quite often, but when i do, i can be [i]assured[/i] of a post reminiscent of this one from this poster, anything that can be remotely deemed as bad press for the party- you can be sure the same person will let the blog know.
    Its getting rather tiresome seeing this constant posting of more or less the same infatuation with anything, anything to do with anti-Sinn Féin reporting, internet or otherwise, stuff even that isn’t worthy to comment on.

    To the poster: Can we see something different for a change? maybe something anti-DUP/TUV? and on a regular basis like these posts? NASA and the European Space Agency business doesn’t count!

  • GGN

    UN,

    I don’t see a problem.

    The internet is full of people who blog more or less around one theme. Often this centres on a negative view of something.

    Sinn Féin are the largest nationalist party in the North and as such would expect to take constant flak.

    On Slugger there are a number of posters on Slugger, many of whom have a theme / position.

    There are posters who centre in on the DUP and UUP.

    Perhaps we need a real anti-SDLP poster to complete the set?

  • Guest

    I agree entirely with GGN on Pete’s right to blog to space and back about Sinn feins’ problems.It gives us all a chance to address these issues and discuss.That is what we are here for and repetition can be a joy in itself-getting all the new angles on a new theme.where it does get annoying is when the post itself doesn’t make sense without the links.As in “and here” and ” then there is this” where we must click on the “this” link to know what one is on about.

    All in all?I think Pete has begun to limit these kind of links and congratulate him on his good sense.

  • Billy

    Comrade Stalin

    “Jaysus, not this “one million unionists” bollocks again”

    Actually, I was going to raise the same point yesterday but, in the end, I couldn’t be bothered. I guess that, if people want to believe that crap (despite all the evidence to the contrary) they will.

    I think you’re spot on about the assembly. The point that we both made to Driftwood was correct – the UK govt (Con or otherwise)simply don’t want the hassle of running NI on a day to day basis.

    Your other point is well made. The electorate in NI voted for these people – to quote the great Rab C Nesbitt “you only get the rats that you deserve”.

    As far as I can see, there are 3 options:

    1. Keep electing the same people to do the same things and then moan about it.

    2. Put pressure on them to start acting collectively for the good of ALL the people. To be honest, Sinn Fein need to start focussing on things that are of real concern to their constituents and putting things like the ILA on the back burner.

    Equally, the DUP need to stop focussing on “keeping the taigs down” and actually start delivering for the people in NI.

    3. Next time up, vote for people who actually just want to help everyone through the current economic crisis irrespective of religion.

    Unfortunately, my money is on the first one.

    It has to be said that the current system at Stormont can only work if you have sensible people who are willing to compromise. Otherwise all you’ll get is stalemate – guess what we’ve got.

    The talk of a voluntary coalition from the Cons/UUP is welcome. From the TUV, it’s laughable – they just want to disenfranchise Sinn Fein.

    However, it’ll take a long time for the DUP, Sinn Fein and some UUP people to move beyond a them and us mentality. In fact, I doubt that the current group of politicians that we have would ever be up to it.

    Until then, they can indeed bring the assembly down. However, while this would bring back the Direct Rule that Driftwood longs for. I don’t think it’ll be the utopia he thinks. Cameron is no bigot – I just think he and the UK public will be even more pissed off with NI. It’ll be an opportunity for a group of English Ministers to make decisions on NI that won’t either effect them or cost them one vote. Given that massive cuts in public expenditure are required, NI would be putting itself in a precarious position.

    Alternatively, we can keep the current assembly going. While this is probably preferable, with the current incumbents, I’m afraid we’ll just get more and more time/money wasted on sectarian point scoring while the people suffer.

    Sorry to be so pessimistic but, unless attitudes (on both sides) in NI can move forward a gerneration overnight, I think that’s where we’re at.

  • Fergananim

    But Once Again, WHAT IS THE POINT of uniting Ireland and Northern Ireland ??? Can anyone give me a good reason for it? What use is it in the 21st century?

  • Quagmire

    “But Once Again, WHAT IS THE POINT of uniting Ireland and Northern Ireland ??? Can anyone give me a good reason for it? What use is it in the 21st century?”
    Posted by Fergananim on Jul 28, 2009 @ 03:01 PM

    What is the use of continuing with and maintaining partition in the 21st Century? And by the by Northern Ireland is in Ireland you chimp. The clue is in the name Northern “IRELAND”.

  • Fergananim

    Ireland is not partitioned. We are a unified state with no outstanding territorial claims. If a majority of our population thought it urgent to integrate Northern Ireland into our country it would have happened a long time ago.

    Northern Ireland is located within the ISLAND of Ireland. It is not part of the state called Ireland – it is part of the United Kingdom.

    And this still does not answer my original question.

  • Gael gan Náire

    Fergananim,

    I suppose most nationalists would say that in a united Ireland they would hope for economic, social and cultural equality.

    In addition, Irish Nationalist in the North, like all nationalists argue that they have the right to self-determination, in this case free and separate from British rule.

  • Fergananim

    In no way am I denying Northern nationalists their Irish identity. That is who they are.

    So okay, let’s say this equality is achieved – what then?

  • Guest

    “So okay, let’s say this equality is achieved – what then? “-Fergananim.

    Why does there have to be something then?

  • Fergananim

    If not then, then what the hell was all the fuss about?

  • Guest

    The fuss was about neither side having it.

    Unionists can have their principle of consent.

    It is as simple and as curt as this:you took away my country.I’m taking away yours’.It is the only language you understand.You used force at the beginning of the 20th century now suffer the consequence.It’s not so bad.Is it?