“If I were a unionist..”

In addressing the ad hominem nature of Niall O’Dowd’s recent attempts to distract from his original mis-direction on the US Secretary of State and the non-appointment of a political envoy, Niall Stanage makes contact with the head of the nail. [Adds Niall has provided an Internet Explorer-friendly version].

It seems reasonable to wonder why Irish Central and the Irish Voice have repeatedly used language that serves to distort my position regarding the North of Ireland. Does the use of that language have anything to do with the fact that I am from a Protestant background, a point that has been raised as an implicit criticism of me in the Irish Voice before?

I was reluctant to get into this whole topic because it is, in my view, irrelevant: If I were a unionist, would that render my views of Irish America invalid?

And on a lighter note..

One final, lighter point: Mr. O’Dowd’s most recent Irish Central article makes reference to me as “a part-time musician”. This is flat-out weird but also fairly amusing. I’d be the last one to denigrate the importance or power of music in general. However, on a point of information, I have not played music publicly since around 1996 or 1997, at which time I was 22 or 23 years old. Does this qualify as being a “part-time musician”? Would Mr. O’Dowd describe Bill Clinton as a “part-time saxophonist”?

Curiouser and curiouser…

, , , , , ,

  • Hi Pete and Everyone,

    I think we now have a solution, albeit a very quickly arrived-at one, for Internet Explorer users who were finding that the first link given here was not working for them:

    http://niallstanage.com/2009/08/21/repeat-irish-america-post-for-i-explorer-users/

    Thanks,

    Niall

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks Niall.

    I’ve added the link to the original post.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    After losing the argument over Hillary Clinton’s ascendence to the post of special/political/full-time envoy, O’Dowd appears to have resorted to a kind of casual sectarianism and tried to label Stanage as a ‘neo-unionist’ – whatever that is – despite Stanage’s stating his preference for Irish unity.

    Bizarre. As is the musician thing.

    I wouldn’t be too worried, Niall S. If O’Dowd’s loyalties are reflected in his political contributions recently (Hillary, McCain and Obama) – he’ll probably be writing glowing editorials about you once he’s realised he’s backed the wrong horse again.

  • Greenflag

    I was reluctant to get into this whole topic because it is, in my view, irrelevant:”

    Probably .

    ‘ If I were a unionist, would that render my views of Irish America invalid?’

    No just suspect. There is not a lot of understanding or sympathy in Irish America or indeed in the USA generally for the Unionist position. About as much as there might be for the American Loyalist position back at the time of the American Revolution.

    BTW That was a powerful numerical hiding you dished out to O’Dowd re the significance of what remains of an Irish vote i.e one that’s motivated on Irish issues re Northern Ireland.I should think he ‘ll think at least twice before attacking your credentials musical or otherwise in the future 😉

    ‘Does the use of that language have anything to do with the fact that I am from a Protestant background”‘

    I doubt it . Almost half the Irish American Catholic vote went to the ‘protestant’ ‘McCain’ and the other half went to the even more’protestant’Obama. And the same vote breakdown was true of what are called the mainstream protestant denominations . Only the born agains of evangelical bible thumping backwardness plumped for McCain by a wide margin and then only in the poorer, not so well educated and lower income Appalachian country and the deep south .

    If Únionists are reviled by some elements within Irish america it’s not because of their religion it’s because of their ‘politics ‘ as traditionnally perceived even if some modern day únborn again unionists have as they say moved on.

    BTW a Unionist’s views on Irish America are equally as valid as an Irish Republicans views on the British Monarchy . In both cases valid but unlikely to be given a welcome on either side of the Atlantic i.e in the USA or UK respectively.

  • Mick Fealty

    Er, he’s NOT a unionist GF.

  • underwood

    FFS, if there’s to be a discussion about “Irish-Americans” then at least do your homework. Most of those in the US who can trace their lineage back to Ireland had Protestant antecedents. To not acknowledge that fact is to fall into line with O’Dowd et al who believe that you have to be Catholic to be considered Irish(/American)

    Stanage is right on this, the sectarianism is there for all to see. Pity he wouldn’t show a bit more maturity, though, and dump this “North of Ireland” stuff. What’s he trying to prove? He sounds more like the hairyback begorrah brigade than O’Dowd does. He at least is grown up enough to refer to the place by it’s proper name, regardless of his own preferences.

  • borderline

    Underwood,

    why don’t you drop the “hairyback” stuff?

    Or have you something else to say?

  • Greenflag

    Mick,

    “he’s NOT a unionist GF”

    Did I say he was ;)? Stanage is way too bright a chap to follow the Unionist line 🙂 . O’Dowd seems however to have adopted that ínfamous únionist political talent of shooting oneself in the foot and elsewhere alas and unnecessarily also I might add.

  • ‘Greenflag

    Underwood,

    ‘ Most of those in the US who can trace their lineage back to Ireland had Protestant antecedents”

    That’s at least debateable . In many cases those ‘protestant ‘antecedents would have left for the States as RC’s and in their new homeland because of the absence of RC Churches they would simply have joined the nearest çongregation particularly prior to the famine and civil war . I recall getting lost on the backroads of Virginia quite a few moons ago and stumbling on an old graveyard beside a baptist church of the non first variety and amongst the Campbells and Browns etc there were quite a number of Fitzgeralds , Walshes, Gillespies etc.

    ‘To not acknowledge that fact is to fall into line with O’Dowd et al who believe that you have to be Catholic to be considered Irish(/American)’

    Whatever else O’Dowd is saying he’s not daft enough to say that . Perhaps O’Dowd is referring to the more recent politically active immigrant Irish Americans who would tend to be from the Republic or nationalist areas of NI and not the third or fourth or further back gnerations who have long since become Ámericans and whose links with the old sod would be purely sentimental and occassionally cultural ?
    And on that note I believe another famous American one Muhammed Ali has had his roots traced to Co Clare -Ennis I believe to a John O’Grady who was his great grandfather and who departed the shamrock shore in the 1830’s . And when you think about it seems somehow appropriate for where else would the Louisville lip have gotten the gift of the gab from ? And where else would he have picked up the gritty and courageous resistance he put up to being drafted in a war which should never have been fought and which ultimately cost 56,000 American lives and 3 million Vietnamese .And Vietnam today is still a one party communist state which might be further on the road to becoming more of a democray had the USA not taken over the role of successors to the French colonialists ?

  • underwood

    “In many cases those ‘protestant ‘antecedents would have left for the States as RC’s and in their new homeland because of the absence of RC Churches they would simply have joined the nearest çongregation particularly prior to the famine and civil war .”

    Total bollocks. The initial great swathes of emigration from Ireland to the US were made up of Presbyterians and other non-conformist Protestant faiths. hence so many US presidents from the “Scotch-Irish” tradition.

    As for the Muhammed Ali thing. You ask, “…where else would the Louisville lip have gotten the gift of the gab from ? And where else would he have picked up the gritty and courageous resistance…” Certainly not from the 77% black African side of the family, according to you ideas, anyway. Perish the thought, eh. Black people who can talk or are courageous and gritty, whoever heard of such a thing. It’s a bad as a Protestant calling himself Irish.

    I don’t think the Irish should boast too much about Ali’s connections with the aul sod. Given the history of the states, those connections can only have come about in one way. The Irish who know anything about slavery and what the overseers and “young masters” did to the black women won’t be anyway. They’ll be hanging their heads in shame.

  • borderline

    Not total bollocks, underwood, but a bit bollocky for all that IMO.

    Some US emigrant irish catholics did change to protestant worship, but in very rare circumstances.

    As for Abe Grady from Clare Coun’y, well I’m sure we’ll all find out the circumstances in the weeks to come; though I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds this business of claiming every American as Irish is getting tiresome, particularly as the numbers virtually double every generation.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Total bollocks.’ a.k.a Underwood

    I said many not all or even a majority . Of course the majority of those fleeing establishment discrimination and persecution in the first waves of emigration were presbyterians who suffered in the famine conditions of the 1740’s . There are millions of American ‘protestants’with recognisably Irish Catholic names .

    ‘Certainly not from the 77% black African side of the family, according to you ideas, anyway.’

    Lighten up gobshite . The Irish began to be heard ‘politically’soon after they became proficient in the english language and that would have been in the late 18th to 19th centuries .

    African American voices were first heard in the American Civil war and were then ‘quietened ‘by reconstruction and Jim Crow only to be reawakened in the mid 1960’s by Martin Luther King and the civil rights activists .

    And truth to be told it was the activism of Dr King and his peaceful demonstrators who provided the inspiration for the Irish nationalists of Northern Ireland to rise up against the oppressive Unionist regime of the time .

    It should’nt come as a surprise that the Unionst regime in the 1969 reacted against the revolting Irishry in a manner similar to yer man whassis his name ah yes Bull Connor (another convert or genuine scotch irish whaadya think ?) the police chief ín Alabama who unleashed his dogs on women and children ?

    Birds of a feather and all that 🙁

    ‘don’t think the Irish should boast too much about Ali’s connections with the aul sod.’

    I believe the Mayor of Ennis is laying on a civic reception and a crowd of about 60,000 is expected to welcome the great Muhammad Ali 🙂 I’d say it’s a mark of respect for the man and his sporting achievements rather than solely his irish connections . The great man is also I beleive not in the best of health .

    ‘Given the history of the states, those connections can only have come about in one way.’

    Indeed those otherwise enlightened Presidents Washington and Jefferson have passed on their surnames to a very large number of African Americans and apparently in the case of the latter in a more direct manner than the óne way’which you allude to . At least one third of African Americans have a fair wallop of european ancestry and most of it probably of british and irish origin .

    It’s a shame that in the USA today the founding fathers of that nation Washington , Jefferson and Adams would probably not have been selected as candidates for the US Presidency by the current GOP on the grounds of their being too liberal and not conservative enough and even worse not being born again çhristians :(. When George Washinton was reprimanded by his minister at the local church for leaving frequently before the end of the service and giving bad example , Washinton apologised to the minister and then never attended again . Presumably the man had a lot more important things to do than listen to his ‘minister’prayching

  • Greenflag

    Here’s the full story 🙂 He’s also expected in Dublin around the same time to taake part in some charity do.

    Boxing champ MUHAMMAD ALI is preparing to make a pilgrimage to the Irish town where his great-grandfather was born.
    The sports legend has accepted an invitation to visit Ireland on 1 September (09) after local researchers recently discovered documents that indicate one of Ali’s ancestors was born 160 years ago in the County Clare town of Ennis.
    Irishman Abe Grady emigrated to the U.S. in the 1860s, before settling in Kentucky and marrying an African-American woman .

    Grady’s son went on to raise Odessa Lee Grady, who would give birth to Cassius Clay Jr., named after his father, in 1942.

    The 67 year old changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964, when he became a member of the Nation of Islam.

    Genealogist Antoinette O’Brien says, “Through research being carried out for the Irish language TV station TG4 on Ali, we established Ali’s great-great grandfather, John Grady, the father of Abe, rented a house and a small garden in Ennis with a rateable value of fifteen shillings (75 pence) in 1855. There is no doubt that Abe Grady was Ali’s great-grandfather.”
    The former World Heavyweight Champion is expected to be named the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis during his visit.

  • Greenflag

    borderline,

    ‘Some US emigrant irish catholics did change to protestant worship, but in very rare circumstances.’

    In the cities of the north east where there would have been large Catholic communities that might have been true but for those irish who left for places like Ohio and the west and south east there would have been virtually no catholic infrastructure i.e churches schools etc for them to maintain their faith which is why many took the line of least resistance and joined their local 25th Baptist Church or whatever . Changing one’s religion did not have the same social or political signifance for those people as it would have had for people back in the Ireland of that time . The great wave of Catholic piety -rosarie beads statues and all of the palaver only arrived in Ireland after the famine as did a great wave of church building . The famine era emigrants or those Irish çatholics who left earlier were not çatholic in a way those of the later 19th and earlier 20th centuries were . Elements of the latter did find their way in the into the USa north east and bigger cities but outside of that by the time catholicism came around almost all the former catholics were something else purely for convenience and to fit into their local community one would presume . Common sense really at the time .

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Keep it civil.

    And, preferably, on topic..

  • Scaramoosh

    What is a Unionist?

  • Does the use of that language have anything to do with the fact that I am from a Protestant background, a point that has been raised as an implicit criticism of me in the Irish Voice before?

    Probably.
    As Mr O’Dowd’s boss himself has pointed out, your (suspected) religion would disqualify you from belonging to (never mind having the right to criticise) their version of *Irish* America:

    http://tinyurl.com/5kx9mq

  • underwood

    Greenflag
    According to you, Ali MUST SURELY have gotten his courage and his gift of the gab from the only white person in his ancestry. That’s stark racism in anyone’s book.
    BTW, don’t buy too readily into the old “married and African/American woman” line, such a thing was virtually unthinkable at the time. Trust me, the white ancestor will turn out to have been a slave trader or overseer.

  • Greenflag

    underwood ,

    ‘According to you, Ali MUST SURELY have gotten his courage and his gift of the gab from the only white person in his ancestry.

    The word SURELY is your fabrication . I don’t know if O’Grady was the only white person in his ancestry . There were btw freed slaves in Kentucky at that time .

    ‘such a thing was virtually unthinkable at the time’

    Indeed but that doesn’t mean it never happened . There were in lots of small african american communities in deepest Kentucky and elsewhere children of a lighter hue . Go and read Mark Twain and remind yourself that the USA now has elected an African American President .

    Now go back to the village that’s missing you and repeat 100 times each night for a week

    ‘Greenflag not a racist ‘
    Greenflag not a racist
    Greenflag not a racist .

    And lighten up man or you’ll do yourself a hernia or something 😉

    And be mindful of Uncle Pete stargazer extraordinaire’s hint to keep it civil . Otherise he”l send a gamma ray burst to a location near you that could be painful 🙂

  • Pete Baker

    The “civil” advice was also directed at you, Greenflag.

    As was “preferably, on topic..”

  • Greenflag, underwood,

    Twenty-five per cent of Americans die in a different religious faith than the faith they were born in. Using a religious headcount as a marker of ethnic origin is dubious to say the least. Last names can be unreliable as a guide to ethnicity and if you’re looking for a pure Scots Irish or Irish person in the land of the free, good luck.

    From American historian Charles H Ball in an article on Applachian Celts and their music:

    “Most people think of the Irish as having emigrated mainly in the nineteenth century, beginning with the potato famine. In fact many came much earlier. Irishmen were living in Appalachia before the days of the American Revolution. These Catholic Irish found a difficult problem in their new land. The absence of priests and of churches made the active practice of Catholicism impossible in many cases. Rather than abandoning the religious life, many became protestants. Some became Presbyterians, as were their Scots-Irish neighbors. Some became Methodists. Most became Baptists. That is the reason that, to this very day, it is not difficult in Appalachia to find Baptist church rolls including such names as Murphy, Mullins, and O’Brien.”

    http://www.leyline.org/cra/articles/app_celts_music.html

    This link below is to a fascinating look at the various ethnic groups in the pre-Civil War American South with a focus on the role/influence of the Scots-Irish in particular.

    http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/faculty_archives/appalachian_women/ethnicit.htm

  • Davros

    If I were a unionist
    Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum All day long I’d biddy biddy bum
    If I were a unionist

  • David

    I don’t know what Davros is smoking, but I’d guess that it is illegal in all 50 states of the USA….

  • underwood

    “There were in lots of small african american communities in deepest Kentucky and elsewhere children of a lighter hue .”

    Have you even the faintest idea about the subject you’re discussing? In the US of those days, white people just did not marry black people, period – and you’re suggesting that it happened in Kentucky, of all places, in the early part of the 19th century. It is still to this day an extremely rare phenomenon anywhere in the states. The lighter African-American hues, as you describe them, either came with their particular African ethnicity (not all Africans are the same hue, it may surprise you to know) or were as a result of slave trader or overseer, or sometimes owner or a son of his, abusing black women and young girls. Certainly not from inter-marriage.

    You immediately attributed what you perceive to be positive features of Ali’s character to the one white antecedent of his that you know about – thereby dismissing the possibility that he might have inherited these from any of his black antecedents. These just happen, as far as we know, to be every other antecedent of his. That’s racism, my friend.

  • Greenflag

    Underwood

    ‘In the US of those days, white people just did not marry black people, period ‘

    Who said anything about ‘marrying’ apart from the quote from the media report which as you state one should’nt buy too readily into. Maybe you should take your own advice .

    Perhaps I need to break this to you gently but millions of people i.e in the UK , USA , Ireland and elsewhere actually live together without getting married . Many even produce progeny 🙂 . You don’t need a piece of paper to produce children at least not yet. While it is true that inter racial marriage was forbidden by law and by the social mores of the time it’s well known that many ‘frontier ‘ americans took native american ‘wives’ and fathered children by them and ‘lived’ as man and wife in or near indian reservations. The same would have been true of some whites who found themselves in predominantly african american communities far away from the eyes of the ‘law’.

    Of course it was socially unacceptable but since when has that ever stopped people from living together if they really want to . Human nature will trump all your laws sooner or later.

    ‘It is still to this day an extremely rare phenomenon anywhere in the states.’

    Is it ? If it is it’s less rare than it used to be . . Some 25% of children in the USA have either one or both parents as immigrants and the ‘white’ population of the USA is now around 60% and declining . California now has a white minority as has New York and other large cities . There will be a lot more inter racial marriages in the USA simply due to the demograhics and changing social mores . Both your President and your great golfer Tiger Woods are both the products of inter racial mixing and I would think that a majority of all Americans will be an ethnic mix of several ‘brands ‘ within a century or two .

    ‘You immediately attributed what you perceive to be positive features of Ali’s character to the one white antecedent of his that you know about ‘

    And you immediately take a tongue in cheek comment and hype it to make a case for ‘racist ‘ branding . point 🙂 Does the word ‘humour’ exist in your vocabulary ?

    ‘ thereby dismissing the possibility that he might have inherited these from any of his black antecedents.’

    I’m not dismissing anything . As we all know it was’nt Ali’s words which won him the world heavyweight boxing championship but his fists . And we know he did’nt inherit that talent from John L Sullivan who was a good deal less loquacious than Ali. Ooops there I go again making a racist comment about John L Sullivan 🙁

  • Greenflag

    Exile 1 ,

    Thanks for the links particularly the second one re Southern Appalachia . Not too long ago I spoke to a ‘lady’ from that part of the world who was proud of her Appalachian ‘roots’ sported an English surname, and included in her ancestry were some recognisably Irish Catholic names ,also a great grandmother a native American, and also informed me that she was the first person from her county /area to attend college . Her family was also the only family in that whole area that had ‘books’ other than the bible in the house .

    What can be said about the appalachians could probably be said about the highlands /uplands of many parts of the world particularly when ‘land’ was the only measure of wealth or more precisely the ‘productivity’ of that land . Lowlander v Highlander is a worldwide story as any Kerryman will tell you . The particular mix of the Appalachians is interesting to us simly because of the prior connections with this part of the world and the forced (mostly by economics and religion ) ‘transplantation’ of peoples from here (Britain and Ireland ) across the pond in search of a better life or for mere survival in many cases .

  • underwood

    The population change in the US is due to the large and growing influx of Hispanics. Nothing whatsoever to do with inter-marriage between people from different racial groups.
    And the issue itself, which you raise as a smokescreen, has even less to do with the ludicrous idea of inter-marriage in Kentucky in the early part of the nineteenth century that we were discussing earlier, and that you claimed as explanation for a white antecedent of Muhammed Ali.

  • Erasmus

    Underwood,
    Consensual relations and marriage between blacks and the Irish, who were both the bottom of the social pile at the time, were not at all uncommon.

  • Erasmus

    Underwood,
    Consensual relations and marriage between blacks and the Irish, who were both the bottom of the social pile at the time, were not at all uncommon.

  • underwood

    Erasmus
    How you must wish that it ever were so, but I’m afraid your addiction to self-pity is getting the better of you.
    Trying to align the Irish position in the states with that of the black population is verging on the obscene.
    The Chinese, the Jews and the Hispanics have all been far, far worse treated than the Irish ever were, and those groups still had it easy compared with how black people fared.
    Incidentally, the Irish were amongst the worst perpetrators of racism against black people in places like New York, Chicago, and New Jersy.

    Some of you people should take time to read a social history of the US, then maybe you’ll realise just how ridiculous some of your claims actually are.

    The idea that black and white people intermarried is so ludicrous it’s unbelievable that any even half-informed person would claim it ever to have been the case.

  • anne warren

    Could we possibly abandon this rather hypothetical question of who married/did not marry whom sometime in the past in the USA?

    I would like to repeat Scaramoosh’s question – which was the first that came to my mind when I read the thread – who is a unionist?

    Excluding the obvious – desire to remain within the UK/consider oneself British even though the English consider everyone from NI Irish/putative support for the British Conservative Party – what are the principles of Unionism? What makes Unionism special and appealing to voters?

  • underwood

    “,,,who is a unionist?”
    Well, I can’t possibly name them all, but Peter Robinson is one, for a start, as is Reg Empey. There’s no contradiction, by the way, in being Irish and British – same as in English and British, Scottish and British, and Welsh and British.

    “…what are the principles of Unionism?”
    Unionism is not a political ideology but a constitutional preference. So you can have socialist unionists, conservative unionists, or liberal unionists, for example. Whatever the ideological underpinning principles of the political preference is applicable.

    “What makes Unionism special and appealing to voters?”
    They want to remain part of the UK.
    A better question for nationalists to ask themselves is: What makes Irish nationalism so abhorrent to unionists?
    A metaphorical mirror and a degree of honesty should give the answer to that one.

  • anne warren

    Thanks for the reply, Underwood.

    I won’t reply to your 3rd point since you answered it yourself.
    “A metaphorical mirror and a degree of honesty”.

    Admit my 1st question “who” was rather foolish and appreciated answer!!!

    I didn’t say there was any contadiction in “being Irish and British”. I merely remarked that the English consider everyone from NI as Irish. They also consider all the Scots Scottish and the Welsh Welsh, so in this they are consistent .

    And to come to the main point:
    You stated “Unionism is not a political ideology but a constitutional preference” and replied to my question as to what makes Unionism special and appealing to voters by saying they “want to remain part of the UK”.

    However as I specifically excluded the obvious desire to remain within the UK/consider oneself British I asked what does Unionism offer.

    You suggest it is a home for many political ideologies “socialist unionists, conservative unionists, or liberal unionists, for example” but what common policy do they hold?

    If none, are they really representing the best interests of their constituents in Westminster? Surely the Unionist voter deserves the same type of representation as the voter in Scunthorpe or Cornwall? Not just an MP who says I want to be British?
    If, on the other hand, individual Unionists have to compromise their differing political ideologies, what can only emerge is an inevitably weak joint policy. Therefore why don’t individual members join their preferred British Labour/LibDem/Conservative party and present that political agenda to the voters, who will then have the same choice as the rest of the UK?

  • Greenflag

    ” ludicrous idea of inter-marriage in Kentucky in the early part of the nineteenth century that we were discussing earlier’

    You mean YOU were discussing . I never made the claim that Ali’s great grandfather was ‘married ‘to his great grandmother ‘but it’s clear to Annette O’Brien the family researcher that they lived together . You might want to contact the researcher if it’s that ïmportant to you.

    ‘that you claimed as explanation for a white antecedent of Muhammed Ali. ‘ Not my claim but AGAIN the claim of the researcher mentioned above and presumably Ali himself is presumably comfortable with the claim which is why he’s visiting Ennis and later Dublin.

    As for the smokescreen ? I’m a non smoker but somebody earlier questioned what it was you were inhaling 🙁

  • Greenflag

    underwood ,

    A better question for nationalists to ask themselves is: What makes Irish nationalism so abhorrent to unionists? ‘

    Thatts an easy question to answer . Unionists would rather not be a ‘minority’in Northern Ireland or an even smaller minority in a 32 county republic for many of them remember only too well why it was that Northern Irish nationalists revolted against the Unionist regime
    from the late 1960’s.

    ‘A metaphorical mirror and a degree of honesty should give the answer to that one. ‘

    Try that one yourself and hoist yourself by your own petard . A favourite pastime of Unionists I believe at least to judge by the 41 Unionist bands marching through a 95% nationalist town . They need to send that NI Parades Commission in Jerusalem so the City Mayor there can invite a troup of the Aryan nations complete with swastikas and paraphernalia to exercise their right to march through Jerusalem unmolested of course by the city’s inhabitants .:(

  • Greenflag

    AW,

    ‘I asked what does Unionism offer.’

    A continuation (hopefully of the 6 billion sterling a year in subvention . Plenty of marching bands and flag waving for three months of every year . A virtually powerless assembly of local politicians . Economic stagnation along with continued high emigration of whatever’s left of the province’s brains . All of that and the odd visit from Queenie and her corgies to help those who have any doubts about their britishness’. Finally there’s the continuing
    prospect of being able to bait the taigs and kick the crap out of them for another generation or so but alas not much longer in Belfast or Derry where the fenian bastards have become too numerous and are likely to retaliate . However all is not lost . There will be small places like Rasharkin where Únionists will be able to swagger their way through the Fenian streets and piss in their rosebeds .

    One other thing though Unionists will be making outreach efforts to attract RC voters so that they too can enjoy the fruits of the Union .

    You could do much worse than being a Unionist even if it seems improbable :)?

  • Greenflag

    underwood ,

    ‘”The population change in the US is due to the large and growing influx of Hispanics. Nothing whatsoever to do with inter-marriage between people from different racial groups.”

    Of course Hispanics are a major part of the change but here are some actual numbers for your
    information and these numbers are already 10 years out of date .

    “Intermarriage between members of different races and ethnic groups is increasing dramatically, according to American Demographics. William H. Frey, a demographer who analyzed 1998 Census Bureau data for the magazine, calls this increase “the beginning of a blending of the races.”

    The trend’s main cause is the recent arrival in this country of large numbers of Asians and Latin Americans, the first such great immigration wave to be composed primarily of nonwhite people. These 17 million immigrants are the fastest-growing segment of the population.

    Two-thirds of Hispanics with some college education now cross group lines when they marry. A fifth of all married Asian women have husbands from another race or ethnic group. In California, nearly one of every 12 non-Hispanic whites who marries chooses an Asian or Hispanic, There are nearly 3 million mixed U.S. marriages today-about 5 percent of the total, compared with 3 percent 20 vears ago.

    Intermarriage is especially pronounced among young people. Nearly a third of married Asians between the ages of 15 and 24 found their spouses in another group. Among Hispanics under 35, about a third married people from other racial or ethnic groups. Even among blacks, where intermarriage is more rare, about 11 percent of people between 15 and 24 chose spouses outside the group.

  • Greenflag

    underwood ,

    An even better question is for Unionists to ask themselves

    ” What makes Unionism so unpopular with 85% of this island’s inhabitants and even more unpopular with most outside international observers apart from the odd Israeli intellectual or a bat shit crazed born again Bob Jone’s University zombie graduate ?’?

    A metaphorical mirror and a degree of honesty should give the answer to that one.

    As a Unionist are you up to it ? The honesty I mean ?

  • Erasmus

    Other information on intermarriage between African and Irish Americans during the 19th century can be found in:

    Underwood,
    I am pointing out the historical record which seems to have reflexively lead you to nonsequiturish presumptions about my general politics. Where did I try to equate the Irish and black experience throughout *general* American history?
    As for ‘self pity’, I am neither black nor immigrant Irish, nor the descendent of either. I refer specifically to the period during and immediately after the Famine which interfaces with the relevant part of the Ali family history.
    Irish involvement in the anti-draft riots of 1863 which had racist overspill is clearly documented. Black/Irish intermarriage in the 19th century is also an established historical fact – whether I personally approve or disapprove is entirely beside the point. Neither is this fact predicated on assumptions of non-racism on the part of the *general* Irish throughout *all* of American history since that period.
    If you want to inform yourself further on the issue of intermarriage between African and Irish Americans during the 19th century might I suggest the following:
    The History of Black Catholics by Cyprian Davis; relates the story of the notable Healy family that produced many Catholic religious.
    A History of the Irish in New York City Chapter 4 “Desirable Companions and Lovers”; Irish and African Americans in the Sixth Ward, 1830-1870 by Graham Hodges; the intermarriage between Blacks and Irish in the notorious Five Points district is treated.

  • 1.However as I specifically excluded the obvious desire to remain within the UK/consider oneself British I asked what does Unionism offer.

    You suggest it is a home for many political ideologies “socialist unionists, conservative unionists, or liberal unionists, for example” but what common policy do they hold?

    If none, are they really representing the best interests of their constituents in Westminster? Surely the Unionist voter deserves the same type of representation as the voter in Scunthorpe or Cornwall? Not just an MP who says I want to be British?

    Hallo Anne, you ask what Unionism has to offer, rather than leaving it entirely to those whose core “ancestral” hatred of the, admittedly at times peculiar, Ulster version blinds them to all logic, I’ll have a go from a UK-wide perspective.

    Unionism simply believes that the continuation of multi-national United Kingdom is the best option for all the people of the UK. What does the continuance of the United Kingdom offer those people?

    1.Functional advantages.

    At the very basic level that’s the provision of benefits and services to N.Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the more deprived areas of England which those regions wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. For SE England and London, the UK offers a wider no- border market for its products services and also a steady stream of employees to work and live there.

    2.Political advantages.

    A nation of 55 plus million people carries more political and negotiating weight than 4 separate smaller countries in such international bodies as the EU and UN. A parliament returned by nation of over 55 million people must contain a wider section of views and opinions than those of smaller nations- it also makes it more difficult for extremist opinions or parties to gain power.

    3.Social/cultural advantages.

    Linked into that last point. The United Kingdom is a multi-national, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic entity which is stronger because of its diversity. As a Unionist I’m proud of that diversity, I only wish my own small region was a bit more aware of the advantages of that diversity. Nationalism, whether it be of the English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh or indeed Ulster variety cannot, by definition, offer that wide diversity.

    If, on the other hand, individual Unionists have to compromise their differing political ideologies, what can only emerge is an inevitably weak joint policy. Therefore why don’t individual members join their preferred British Labour/LibDem/Conservative party and present that political agenda to the voters, who will then have the same choice as the rest of the UK?

    I support the UUP/Conservative initiative which is an attempt actually long-term to reduce the importance of the constitutional question in local NI politics. As it stands today, NI’s place within the Union is determined solely by the consent of its electorate- continuing to fighting Irish nationalism on the stale old cultural/communal grounds doesn’t help the Union; at best it can only a zero-sum game or no-score draw. So, we should be fighting instead on the same battlefields as in the rest of the UK (in Scotland and Wales the cultural question re the Union is of very much secondary importance, the communal one simply doesn’t exist). And yes, to fight on that same battlefield we need to have the right to vote for those parties which exist in the rest of the UK- the Conservatives have delivered that option; Labour, very slowly, are being dragged into giving us the basic democratic right to vote for them also in NI. No sign yet of similar movement yet from the Lib Dems.

  • Greenflag

    O’Neill ,
    Not a bad attempt but not quite the full story either and some misleading and in accurate presumptions as well

    1) Functional advantages .

    The first part i.e

    ‘those regions wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise’ is correct especially for Northern Ireland where almost 70% of GDP is dependent on the public sector . For Scotland and Wales the figures are not quite as high being 50% and 55% respectively . Figures for the poorer northern English regions I don’t have but the figure for SE England is circa 35% which is iirc similar to the figure for the Irish Republic.

    The second part of your ‘functional advantage i.e ‘the UK offers a wider no- border market for its products services and also a steady stream of employees to work and live there’ is a nonsense in this day and age . You don’t have to be a NI Unionist to work and live in the UK . You can be a Pole , a Frenchman , a German or even a citizen of the Irish Republic of which I believe there are some 500,000 in the UK mainly England which by my numbers is alone more than half the population of Unionists in NI. The EU of which the UK (England , Scotland, Wales & NI )and the Irish Republic and 20 plus other countries are members provides a market population almost 10 times that of the UK .

    You seem to be unaware of the longer term impact on Northern Ireland of a continous stream of it’s brightest and best as they head for London and the South East and even Dublin and the longer term impact this will have on the province and it’s people as well as it’s politics . The above can be seen as a functional disadvantage

    2.Political advantages.

    A nation of 55 plus million ??

    If you are going to uphold the benefits of Unionism for slugger readers you might at least get the population of the UK correct . It’s 61 millions as of 2008.

    ‘As a Unionist I’m proud of that diversity’

    Wonderful and congratulations on your new found enlightenment .

    ‘ I only wish my own small region was a bit more aware of the advantages of that diversity.”

    A bit ? Come on now where is that ‘honesty ‘ which you offered all Irish nationalists to partake of like your good self ? Irish nationalists understand very well the traditional and still very much prevalent attitude of NI unionists to ‘diversity’ . Was’nt that attitude part of the reason why Irish nationalists ‘revolted’ against the ‘advantages ‘ of unionist diversity ?

    more anon tbc

  • Greenflag

    o’neill,

    ‘it also makes it more difficult for extremist opinions or parties to gain power’

    Eh ? Germany (80 million) , Italy ( 55 million) Soviet Union (200 million ) China ( 1.1 billion) , North Korea ( 30 million ?) all give the lie to smaller countries being prone to being taken over by ‘extremists ‘ . You may have heard of the nazis , stalinism , fascism , and the maniacal state that is the homeland of the Dear Leader the hereditary communist monarchy of North Korea ?

    The FPTP voting system in the UK ensures that power is essentially carved up between either of the two main parties . Under PR the Liberals might have a better chance of an electoral breakthrough which is why both the Tories and the Labour Party are opposed to any introduction of PR . It’s also at least conceivable that had Northern Ireland had PR from it’s inception the Irish Nationalist community in that province would not have been totally excluded from a share in power and Unionism might have been forced simply due to the number of Irish nationalists at Stormont to recognise the ‘interests’ of the other half ( or at that time) the third of the population that owed it’s first allegiance to Ireland and NOT the UK

    ‘I support the UUP/Conservative initiative which is an attempt actually long-term to reduce the importance of the constitutional question in local NI politics.’

    At least you use the word ‘attempt’ for that’s all it will ever be. As long as NI exists in it’s present format the constitutional question will not go away . I personally hope that it will become muted and no longer a cause for conflict . The people of all Ireland have made their voice heard re that aspect of Anglo /Ireland/NI relations.

    Oddly enough for a Unionist you omit possibly the most important reason IMO for being a Unionist i.e the one that people with any knowledge of the world can readily understand and even if they personally don’t like it , can at least from a realpolitik viewpoint accept as authentic .

    Can any Unionist out there tell O’Neill what it is or do yiz have to have an Irish nationalist spell it out for yiz 😉 I’ll give yiz two hours to put on those rusty thinking caps and that’s a clue in itself 😉

    Not that I could ever be persuaded to be a Unionist for that reason alone but then I believe there are many ways of boxing that particular political fox .

  • ‘those regions wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise’ is correct especially for Northern Ireland where almost 70% of GDP is dependent on the public sector . For Scotland and Wales the figures are not quite as high being 50% and 55% respectively . Figures for the poorer northern English regions I don’t have but the figure for SE England is circa 35% which is iirc similar to the figure for the Irish Republic.

    According to this http://tinyurl.com/n8g3an (pdf)
    the % of public expenditure as a share of the total GVA for the period 2010-2013 will be:

    NI 67.9%
    Wales 67.3%
    Scotland 54.2%
    W Midlands 54.2%
    Yorkshire 53.2%

    You don’t have to be a NI Unionist to work and live in the UK.

    No, of course you don’t. Nevertheless many Northern Irish, Scottish, Welsh and folk from the North of England work and live in london and the SE of England and they tend to find it easier than people from the rest of the EU (with the obvious exception of the ROI) to find well-paid employment there. That works out as a clear advantage for the people concerned (in terms of career and financial development) and also for the private companies and areas of the public sector they are working in.

    The above can be seen as a functional disadvantage

    If you’re trying to sell the Union on an individual basis to its citizens, then no, I don’t think it is- it widens their career and life-style opportunities and possibilities . In terms of regional disadvantage or imbalance which might be caused, you may have a point. However, for the foreseeable future, London and the SE will remain the engine of the UK and it’s important for the overall financial well-being of the nation that there is enough oil (ie well-qualified workers) in that engine to make it run as efficiently and as profitably as possible. Without that engine the rest of the Uk would be in a much worse position than it is today.

    If you are going to uphold the benefits of Unionism for slugger readers you
    might at least get the population of the UK correct . It’s 61 millions as
    of 2008.

    At the most recent census in 2001, the total official population of the United Kingdom was 58,789,194, but sure, I’m happy to take that extra 3 million if you say that’s what it is!

    Wonderful and congratulations on your new found enlightenment .

    Now, now… what was it I was saying about ancestral prejudice blocking logic? 😉 The logic in this case is that I’m sure you know nothing whatsoever about my social, cultural or religious background or attitudes from what I’ve just posted and I’m also guessing to a neutral/uncommitted reader (who is after all both our target market) that kind of sneering comment reflects a lot worse on you than me.

    Secondly, as I pointed out in my original post, I am looking at this from a UK-wide perspective- you, by intention or otherwise, have limited yourself to an element of “unionism” within Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom by its very nature is a multi-national entity and at the very least, an amalgam of at least 4 national identities- it can’t help but be a diverse state.

    Eh ? Germany (80 million) , Italy ( 55 million) Soviet Union (200 million ) China ( 1.1 billion) , North Korea ( 30 million ?) all give the lie to smaller countries being prone to being taken over by ‘extremists ‘

    In each of those cases it was outside events not the size of the population aiding the “take-over”. A parliament representing a larger population, inter alia, means a wider range of views and opinions.

    At least you use the word ‘attempt’ for that’s all it will ever be. As long as NI exists in it’s present format the constitutional question will not go away . I personally hope that it will become muted and no longer a
    cause for conflict.

    I’m confused with your attitude on this one, do you not believe it is right to at least make that attempt? Yet you hope that we “mute” the constitutional question- surely you should be at least wishing the UUP/Conservatives well in their declared target then to try to do that very thing?

    I’m looking forward to read about that other advantage you’ve got hiding under your cap;)

  • Greenflag

    o’neill,

    ‘for the foreseeable future, London and the SE will remain the engine of the UK and it’s important for the overall financial well-being of the nation that there is enough oil (ie well-qualified workers) in that engine to make it run as efficiently and as profitably as possible. Without that engine the rest of the UK would be in a much worse position than it is today.

    Full marks for the obvious but isn’t the ‘reliance’ on London being the economic engine of the UK one of the main reasons why the peripheral regions have been demanding more autonomy ?. If you know your history you should know what happened to political and economic life in Dublin when the Act of Union came into being and the Irish Parliament dissolved itself . It was economic stagnation and decline for a century and more. Money and investment tends to follow the political power centre . In Ireland only a very small area around Belfast benefitted and then only because flax grown in Ulster was a better product and less expensive to produce than elsewhere. Admittedly we live in another era but given the current financial services induced ‘recession’ and massive lay offs facing that sector what hope for London mopping up the woes of the rest of the regions of the UK going forward ?

    ‘A parliament representing a larger population, inter alia, means a wider range of views and opinions.’

    One would like to think so. The evidence I’m afraid is not heartening . From this current crisis we hear the same views and opinions coming from across the anglophone world and the only difference between the USA , UK and Ireland is that in the former two it’s just more of the same simply due to the numbers . Kind of like the old adage re the famous economist with 35 years experience which when broken down to real world events amounted to 1 years experience and 34 years repeating the same mistakes :(. For ‘Unionism ‘ you could make that 10 years experience (1920-1930) followed by 40 years of making the same mistakes followed by almost 30 years (1970 1998)in the political wilderness wondering what happened followed by another 10 years of kicking for touch before finally a year or so back accepting the stark reality that the ‘Union’ was never ever going to be in the future what it appeared to be in the past .

    ‘I’m looking forward to read about that other advantage you’ve got hiding under your cap;)’

    I’m astonished that you haven’t mentioned it. Particularly as an NI Unionist person you have been benefitting from it for the past 40 odd years in particular and even longer . It’s called national defence /security . Who knows how many lives would have been lost in NI if the UK had not intervened in 1969?

  • anne warren

    Sincere thanks to Greenflag, O’Neill and Erasmus who clarified many points.I am not going to discuss them in the order of presentation but as how they reply to my original question.

    As I specifically excluded the obvious desire to remain within the UK/consider oneself British I asked what does Unionism offer.

    Oneill provided a series of reasons supporting the view that one should desire to remain within the UK because of functional, political and socio-cultural advantages, most of which are debatable as was pointed out and which were not really the point of the question.

    However, s/he agreed that “continuing to fighting Irish nationalism on the stale old cultural/communal grounds doesn’t help the Union; at best it can only a zero-sum game or no-score draw. And that to fight on that same battlefield the electorate needs to have the right to vote for those parties which exist in the rest of the UK” And that an attempt was being made by the Conservative party and very slowly by the Labour party. All of which seems to indicate that Unionism in itself is still a deafening shout of “I’m British”, offers little more to constituents at present but may in the future.

    And now let’s look at the other arguments.
    Unionists would rather not be a ‘minority ’in Northern Ireland or an even smaller minority in a 32 county republic for many of them remember only too well why it was that Northern Irish nationalists revolted against the Unionist regime. Which reduces Unionism to fear of revenge or to a desire to maintain a monopoly on power. Hardly tenable in this day and age of Human Rights and EU Fundamental Freedoms and hardly an attraction to voters. There’s also the reason of national defence /security as was pointed out. If Westminster had not intervened in 1969, as was their responsibility towards Britsh citizens, who knows how many lives would have been lost in NI? How many would be in danger today without Westminster, Dublin,the USA and Brussels to keep an eye on things?

    On a practical level Unionism is said to offer:
    A continuation (hopefully) of the 6 billion sterling a year in subvention. Which comes out of the British taxpayers’ pockets.

    Plenty of marching bands and flag waving for three months of every year, with relevant costs to the taxpayer. The Scots, ever a canny lot, are now objecting to this type of expenditure and rough shod riding over the rights of shopkeepers, motorists, pedestrians and the general public in the name of political correctness pushed beyond all reasonable limit.

    A virtually powerless assembly of local politicians. No comment except that we taxpayers pay for the MLAs

    Economic stagnation along with continued high emigration of whatever’s left of the province’s brains. Which Oneill admitted was a valid point.

    Finally “there’s the continuing prospect of being able to bait the Taigs and kick the crap out of them for another generation or so”. An unpalatable point that should be faced. Can we also add Roma and Poles to this statement, given events in the spring of this year in Belfast? And add the BNP to the roster of parties competing for the Unionist vote? My original post overlooked them but they do have 2 MEPs, a group of local councillors, approximately 1 million English people voting for them and I am informed they now accept Irish as members. Perhaps someone could let us know if they have made overtures for the Unionist vote and how many Unionists would support them?
    To conclude, screaming “I’m British” really doesn’t cut it in today’s world but Unionism seems to offer very little else to electorate who hope/expect their vote will contribute to improve society.

  • Greenflag,

    Full marks for the obvious but isn’t the ‘reliance’ on London being the economic engine of the UK one of the main reasons why the peripheral regions have been demanding more autonomy ?.

    The fact that our nation’s capital is amongst the top 5 economic, cultural and political centres in the world is , all things considered, a net advantage or disadvantage for everyone living in the UK?

    Re: defence, yep, of course…but if I had listed every advantage I wouldn’t have got to work this morning…;)

    Anne Warren,

    As I specifically excluded the obvious desire to remain within the UK/consider oneself British I asked what does Unionism offer.

    Oneill provided a series of reasons supporting the view that one should desire to remain within the UK because of functional, political and socio-cultural advantages, most of which are debatable as was pointed out and which were not really the point of the question.

    I’m interested in hearing your definition of “Unionism”.

    For me, at the very fundamental level, it is the political philosophy that the United Kingdom operates better as united nation- simple as that.

    If I then go on to offer reasons why it does so, that is surely answering the question “What does Unionism have to offer?”

    But if that’s not what you’re after, I’d be interested to hear your definition of Unionism and then I can perhaps provide you with alternative response to a question you seem to have already decided you have an answer to.

  • Greenflag

    anne warren,

    ‘Which reduces Unionism to fear of revenge or to a desire to maintain a monopoly on power. Hardly tenable in this day and age of Human Rights and EU Fundamental Freedoms and hardly an attraction to voters’

    You might think that but although fear of ‘revenge’ has lessened the desire to maintain if not a monopoly on power at least a narrowing hold on such power as there is- is evident from the competition between DUP v UUP v TUV . And despite the age of Human Rights and EU Fundamental Freedoms unionists generally are uneasy about any impositions from abroad that btw also includes ‘impositions’ from Britain i.e Westminster . We should not forget traditional unionism’s outright opposition over decades into modern times of British Government’s policies which although beneficial to the British peoples as a whole ‘unfortunately’ have benefitted the Irish nationalist community in NI and gave rise to a much more numerous and influential emergent Irish nationalist middle class in NI. It was not the legislation per se that Unionism opposed but the probablility that such legislation would not ‘discriminate’ against their fellow provincials the ‘disloyal’ nationalists ! And alas there are still vestiges of that mentality in existence among some brands of unionism.

    ‘Economic stagnation along with continued high emigration of whatever’s left of the province’s brains. Which Oneill admitted was a valid point.’

    O’Neill loves the UK so much that he’s prepared to see how own province go to the wall -well not quite but this ‘unionist ‘ mentality puts the SE England first and basically sod the rest if necessary . Not too different from Charles Trevelyan’s ‘laissez faire ‘ of the mid 19th century which consigned a million Irish to death and uprooted another 2 million into exile . Twas the market ye see and for the better . ‘Unionism ‘ at least for NI is not an ambitious political faith it’s a path to provincial self destruction economic , social and political .

    ‘To conclude, screaming “I’m British” really doesn’t cut it in today’s world but Unionism seems to offer very little else’

    That’s about it AW apart from that national defence bit which O’Neill somehow amazingly missed ? Perhaps it was the 6 billion annual subvention which clouded his sense of priorities ;)?

  • Greenflag

    O’neill,

    ‘but if I had listed every advantage I wouldn’t have got to work this morning’

    It’s a question of getting your ‘priorities ‘ right O’Neill. In your case it’s clear what those priorities are London and the England’s SE first and NI and elsewhere a distant second or 10th ?

    And that’s fine for that has more or less always been Tory policy in the UK since 1800 anyway ! And as you are proud to be a Tory you are at least consistent 😉

    You might however want to take the time to re order your choice of priorities when defending the ‘Union’ .

    Ye see without that ‘national defence ‘ you and thousands if not tens of thousands of people in NI both Unionist and Nationalist would not be around to go to ‘work’

    First things first eh !

    I’ll be the first to admit that we in the Republic ‘cop out’ on this issue also . For we expect to be defended if push ever came to shove by the UK and EU . And we resist joining any international defence organisation i.e NATO because it would compromise our ‘neutrality ‘in being unable to defend ourselves :(?

    Mindboggling and tortous reasoning but you can get away with that kind of thinking if you are a small country on the periphery and do not share a border with Russia etc.F

    ‘for me, at the very fundamental level, it is the political philosophy that the United Kingdom operates better as united nation- simple as that’

    The ‘Union’ experience overall was not a positive experience for most of Ireland apart from a small area around Belfast from it’s inception 1800 to recent times . It is that fundamental experience which has coloured most Irish people’s attitude to present day ‘unionism’ and will continue to shape that attitude for some considerable period ahead .

  • Greenflag

    error above ,

    should read

    you and thousands if not tens of thousands of people in NI both Unionist and Nationalist MIGHT not be around to go to ‘work’

  • Shore Road Resident

    You boring, boring bastards.

  • Greenflag,
    To answer a simple closed question about whether London’s position as a world capital is to the advantage of the average UK citizen or not with a multiple post which throws in both the Famine and the ROI’s non-membership of NATO was impressive.

    I take it your answer’s a ‘no” then?

    Shore Road Resident,

    Yes, you’re probably right.

  • Greenflag

    O’neill’

    ‘I take it your answer’s a ‘no” then?’

    Unfortunately ‘there are some questions which can’t be answered with a simple yes or no and yours as mentioned above is one of them . If London was not one of the world’s top five as you put it top ‘financial ‘capitals ‘ or not so dominant in the British economy it might have well have avoided the worst consequences of the current meltdown and not dragged the rest of the country down with it ?

    What is an average UK citizen anyway ? The average Sunderlander or Scot or Fermanaghman or Llandudnian is not going to benefit from London and the South East’s relative affluence unless he or she takes the advice of that vintage now retired Tory Mr Tebbitt and gets up on his or her bicycle and takes the high road (MI) to London Town . We are back to the fallacy of composition again. London will certainly attract some but it can’t attract all for multifarious reasons of course .

    The answer is thus neither yes nor no but neither and both.

    Shore Road Resident,

    Boring ? You jest .This is riveting stuff . If it’s excitement you seek you might want to stick to the Sun . It’ll keep you amused and excited for hours while sitting on the throne and when you are finished ‘reading’ it also possesses
    absorbent qualities which you can effectively make use of while disposing 🙂 It flushes nicely too but remember only one page at a time.

  • Brit

    London is the best city in the world, with the possible exception of NYC. Not, however, relevant to the constitutional status of NI.

    Yes many Irish communities in the pre-War 19th Century US were very anti-black and pro-slavery. At the same time the northern Know Nothing Party were strongly abolitionist whilst at the same time anti Catholic bigots and anti Irish/German racists.

  • anne warren

    I was sorry to read that Shore Road resident considered us “boring, boring bastards”. I would like to assure him/her that I personally am not a bastard and am able and willing to prove it legally, if needs be.
    As far as regards the thread being boring which Oneill agrees with and Greenflag doesn’t, I suggest new arguments are often difficult to get one’s head round and consequently dismissed as boring. While the discussion might not be “riveting” I think it important to clarify what exactly Unionism is offering so that voters make an informed choice at forthcoming elections.
    Oneill claimed I asked a question I seem to have already decided I have an answer to. I object to this veiled insult which imputes my intellectual honesty. It also smacks of “cast a slur on the messenger because one doesn’t like the message”.
    Finally, Oneill asked me for my definition of “Unionism”. May I suggest that the desire to remain within the UK/consider oneself British carries obligations? In this exchange of views I have learnt lots about the importance of London and the SE, how to spend millions of taxpayers’ money to shore up fragile egos and very little of obligations towards an electorate and how to fulfil them – beyond constantly reassuring them about being British.

  • barnshee

    “What is an average UK citizen anyway ? The average Sunderlander or Scot or Fermanaghman or Llandudnian is not going to benefit from London and the South East’s relative affluence”

    Au Contraire– London and the SE are the big tax generators whhich allow extra funds to be allocated to NI Wales Scotland the NE etc Also allows ENGLAND to(via Brussels) subsidise the ROI-still at the last count the higest PER CAPITA recipient of EU funds. Why the SE and London put up with it I have no Idea. IIt wouls seem a loud cry of fuck off would be in order.

    A loud cry of fuck off ny England would seem to be in order.

  • Big Maggie

    barnshee,

    “IIt wouls seem a loud cry of fuck off would be in order.

    “A loud cry of fuck off ny England would seem to be in order.”

    Going by your typing, repetition, etc, it would seem a large quantity of bevvies was part of your order :^)

  • barnshee

    Maggie

    nae beccies here (bevvies = beer) Striitch scootash tots here

  • Greenflag

    anne warren ,

    “As far as regards the thread being boring which Oneill agrees with and Greenflag doesn’t’,

    Anne I hate to say this but that remark of mine was somewhat tongue in cheek i.e the reference to rivetting . I was taking the michael out of yon troll . However I agree with your mission seek i.e

    ‘what exactly Unionism is offering so that voters make an informed choice at forthcoming elections.’

    Although the only answer you are likely to get will amount to a voodoo mix of flag waving jingoism with a few light references to vague banalities 🙁

    There are as you should know at least 3 unionist parties and possibly several more in incubation . There is the DUP which knows what it doesn’t want i.e No SF Justice Minister at all at all. Then you have the UUP (which doesn’t want a Justice Minister who is not pro Union )-effectively this means they don’t want a Justice Minister who is SF or SDLP and now we read from Sir Regicide Empey’s latest remarks not even from the Alliance Party ?

    I left out the TUV because nobody seems to know what they want but apparently it’s an NI with no SF elected politicians and prefereably no Taig politicians of any description or party unless they convert to Únionism and fly union jacks from the lamposts outside their houses 24 hrs a day 365 days a year and not just on July 12th as in days of yore :(.

    BTW trying to get an ‘honest’anwer out of some of these unionist yobs is like visiting a serial killer on death row who has been convicted on 27 counts of murder crimes witnessed by 47 members of the public , backed up by several box fulls of DNA evidence followed by several rejected court appeals and suggesting to said inmate that they just might -might be ‘guilty’ as charged . They will of course deny any such charge regardless of evidence 🙁

    You see they have their ‘moral’ or should that be ‘immoral ‘ certainties also 😉 And so too do some of our Unionist boyos . In the school of ‘moral certainty’ they rate very high in the All Time World Ratings up there with the hirsute Ayatollahs of Middle Eastern Truth and the Medieval Absolutists of the Heretic and Witch Burners of the Middle Ages , and their modern cescendants the Evangelical Prosperity Bringing religions and not to forget the Young Earth Creationists of the 6,000 year old Earth who number among their adherents some of the more ‘distinguished’ minds of latter day ‘unionism’:(

  • Greenflag

    big maggie ,

    ‘nae beccies here ‘

    I think barnshee was trying to say that he was’nt a hairy imbecile in a scottish accent :).

    ‘scootash’ appears to be an attempt at spelling scuttered

    Abandon hope all ye etc etc 😉