What now for Northern republicanism?

A few things have got me thinking recently. The first was the progressive election campaign by the DUP. The second was the comments by Declan O’Loan and thirdly, was the creeping nature of the dissident campaign.

The end result is a mixed up collection of emotions and thoughts that I just have to get off my chest.

The DUP campaign got me to think the unthinkable (as a republican) – could I ever countenance something short of Irish unity, particularly in the long term. I argued before that I would like to hear from unionism why I should question my belief that Irish unity is the only way forward. Could unionism convince me otherwise? I listed a few things that would certainly get my interest. No Orange marches in nationalist areas/recognition of the Irish language/removal of British symbols from shared spaces to name a few. I have read lists of what republicanism might offer unionists if they embraced a United Ireland but very little from the opposite viewpoint.

But that lead me to a further thought. Will unionists ever truly believe that a republican like me (who supports the GFA) can ever really leave our support for violence back in the 1990s – and is this a barrier to future unity. Is there a lingering view within unionism that although we publicly reject the dissidents that privately we rejoice in their actions? I often asked myself the same question – why, for me, was it right in 1993 but wrong now? That question is easily answered whenever there is a bombing or shooting by the dissidents because I ask ‘what was my gut reaction?’. I can only speak for myself and my reaction is anger at the futility of the actions. How can the dissidents ignore the openly voted for will of the Irish nation. The GFA was supported by the vast majority of people – no ambiguity.

But then all that got me thinking even more. Will the unionist community ever be able to work in true partnership with Sinn Fein, perhaps even towards Irish unity? The only answer I can come up with is ‘no’. The problem is not Sinn Fein’s strategy but that Sinn Fein seem incapable of delivering it.

So what of the SDLP – can they deliver where Sinn Fein can’t? Not a hope in hell. They offer no rational way forward for nationalism other than to say ‘we are not Sinn Fein’. Any political strategy that sells itself as ‘at least we’re not the other lot’ will go nowhere – just ask Reg Empey.

This takes me onto my final point. If this is where the two parties stand; should they merge? Of course they shouldn’t. If they did that, they would be rejected by unionism because of their collective baggage – any new party would just be Sinn Fein plus. What we need is not a merger but a new beginning.

Whether we like it or not the only nationalist party capable of uniting Northern Nationalism, without making unionism run a mile, is Fianna Fail. I know that view will go down like a lead balloon in some quarters but I just don’t see any other way. The obstacles to this are many but if they did get their act together they should advance North in their own right and not as part of any pact with the SDLP.

Fianna Fail is the only party capable of delivering Sinn Fein’s strategy of being in Government on both sides of the border. They would also have the added benefit of not being utterly detested by the vast majority of unionism.

But until that happens I will keep putting my X beside Sinn Fein – what else is there?

  • G O’Neill

    Thought provoking post but I just don’t see how Finna fail and all there conservative baggage could win the support of the vast majority of SF voters- they look and sound too much like the SDLP. The next move by SF is to enter government in the south which if they hit 10 seats will be a big possibility – don’t let the wishful thinkers on here fool you SF are not as badly placed in the 26 counties as some would have you believe. Personally in the next couple of years i would like to see small steps such as speaking rights in the Dail and a voting rights for the President election implemented. These are small steps but will all help us reach the next staging post…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Fianna Fail is the only party capable of delivering Sinn Fein’s strategy of being in Government on both sides of the border.

    Thinking that nationalists would believe that FF is some kind of natural home is just as ludicrous as the recently-exposed fallacy that the Conservative Party is some kind of natural home for unionists.

    They would also have the added benefit of not being utterly detested by the vast majority of unionism.

    Shame about most of the population of Ireland, then.

  • Argosjohn

    Mr Crumlin: All of the nationalist parties you mention are the after birth of the carnival of raction of partition. Unionism is a discredited political outlook, much like Naziism or the Churchilian stance of the BNP.
    Republicanism is likewise an obsolete belief. Ireland needs a new awakening: a strong, centralised, independent leadership, gulags for lawyers and other leeches, no truck with reactionary credos like Unionism. The 100th anniversary of 1916 or even of the First Dail would be a good time to do it.
    Will it happen? Most probably not. The great Irish nationalist surge that went from the time of Parnell to the Limerick and other Soviets involved such revolutionary groups as: the GAA, the Irish Language Leage, the cultural progressives, upper andm iddle class do gooders, syndicalist trade unions and more. Where are they now? With O’Leary in the grave, or on remand in one of Britain’s hell holes. (Last one is a bit of a joke).

    RSF might be right ideally. But the Real Republic is as far away as ever.

    The dissidents might be republicans. Most of them are probably lapsed Catholics, who dislike the orange fascist state. They are not republicans and nor were most Provies.

    Such icons as Slab Murphy, The Undertaker and the rest of them were admired because of their operational prowess, not for their insights into the obsolete ideals of the French republican Revolution.

  • percy

    There’s hope in marketing .
    Make the product “united ireland” popular, advertise it.
    Bottle it and sell it like coca-cola

  • I just cannot assimiliate the current obsession amongst some commentators with the concept of FF as an electoral alternative in NI. Firstly, I can only assume this idea is attractive to people who have not lived in the Republic (at least not in the last few years). In that sense, at first glance anyway, it might seem like it has merit. But if you scratch the surface, there is the most godawful stench of gombeenism, lazy corruption and mismanagement. Secondly, as a movement rather than a political philosophy, FF represents a rough coalition of various social forces which more closely resembles the old UUP than SF or the SDLP. It tries to marry the ‘man on the street’ trope with big business, large agricultural concerns and the professional classes. Ultimately, this requires a certain amount of smoke and mirrors to keep the various constituencies on the same page.
    Unlike SF and SDLP which are (at least nominally) left of centre, FF are pretty much a centre-right conservative party.

    As to what now for Northern republicanism? The problem remains the same – what manifestation is most likely to win support for UI amongst unionists/Protestants/British people in NI. I’d offer one possiblity – with regard to SF – it may be worth considering how far the current leadership within SF is both tainted by the troubles (in the eyes of u/P/B) and, in another sense, simply around too long and deserving of a rest themselves anyway. All parties run the risk of leadership cults if new blood is not circulated to carry fresh oxygen to the brain. Would a younger generation, who were not invovled in the IRA’s military campaigns, represent a different political paradigm?
    Indeed, post-hunger strike SF may (arguably) become seen (retrospectively) as an extended leadership cult around Gerry Adams, in the same mould as Hume/SDLP and Paisley/DUP. Any new SF leadership would need to be selected based on their capacity to deliver on bread and butter issues and have a realistic strategy to win over u/P/B support for a UI.
    So, perhaps the ‘what now’ for republicans should really be ‘who next’ and ‘when do they start’?

  • slug

    Would not FG be the wiser nationalist unity party? That would be more likely to garner unionist respect.

    FF=brown envelopes.

  • FG would perhaps be a more natural unionist unity party.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I would say that SF in rural areas (north and south of the border) aren’t a kick of the arse away from the Catholic conservatism of Fianna Fáil, but ideology isn’t the only thing in play here. It’s difficult to exaggerate the personal loathing between SF and the SDLP in the North and between SF and Fianna Fáil in places like Donegal, Monaghan, Louth etc. Mr Crumlin is right in saying that uniting Northern nationalism under Fianna Fáil has a certain crazy logic to it, but it simply won’t happen.

    Another thing to consider is just what the future has in store for Fianna Fáil. I’m old enough to remember dire predictions of the electorate reaping vengence on Charlie, Albert, Bertie et al, only for them to go on to form governments. But it really is different this time. Only eejits talk about making FF extinct, but I do expect them to get a very profound doing at the next general election. It may be a long time before they are in a position to be senior partners in any reconfiguration of nationalism.

  • Whether we like it or not the only nationalist party capable of uniting Northern Nationalism, without making unionism run a mile, is Fianna Fail.

    I was with you, in terms of understanding that the cabal of extremes leading either side at the moment depend on eachother for continued success in respective fiefdoms, then read that little blast from the past.

    The only FF MLA in NI is an anti-PSNI one. We had an unelected member of the FF administration in the south add 30 years of unreconstructed bile to this site’s recent attempt at Derry essays. The northern perspective on what the Soldiers of Destiny have done to the minority Protestant community in the Republic with their education is especially lucid.

    Like the advocates of unity on the unionist side, you’ve reached a conclusion out of the blue and without any justification.

  • Argosjohn

    “The northern perspective on what the Soldiers of Destiny have done to the minority Protestant community in the Republic with their education is especially lucid.”

    The Southern Prots are the world’s most pampered minority. The self styled Church of Ireland is more than happy with the grants they get from the State.

    Sectarianism is Ireland has always been a one way gun. Don’t try to spin otherwise.

    Dav’s Constitution gave these MI5 fifth columnists their own Trinity Senator seats and much more when what they deserved for their collusion was a probably bullet in the head.

    When Sinn Fein swept the 1920 elections, thye only failed to win two seats outside of the fascist Belfast salient: one in Waterford won by Redmond (against whom stood the redoubtable Dr White) and the fascist seat of South Dublin (aka Dublin 4) won by Unionist extremist Maurice Dockrell (Burn nothing British excpet their coal).
    These traitors and fifth columnists litterally got way with murder. True, there were exceptions but generally they were parasites and leeches, who never were made pay.

    The Irish just do not seem to have that vindictive streak in them. It seems to be a hallmark of imperialist and imperious people.

  • Argosjohn

    “The northern perspective on what the Soldiers of Destiny have done to the minority Protestant community in the Republic with their education is especially lucid.”

    The Nortern Protestant/Unionist perspective. They see things thropugh Humpty Dumpty eyes: only what they want to see. I really hope the Tories make them pay their way.

  • Cynic

    Mr Crumlin

    An interesting and thought provoking post.

    I would raise one issue. You seem to define everything on the exclusive basis – no this, no that, etc. I think we should all aim higher in terms of tolerating expression by others of different views, dissent, whatever – within reason of course – and on a fair and balanced basis. For example if Dissident Supporters want to parade down our road, fine, let them. We can have good laugh at them and they at the nutters on this side of the national political fence.

  • Jean Meslier

    The SDLP, as predicted is coming apart at the seams. If O’Loan is involved in some Walter Mitty effort to promote FF by stealth, then bring it on.

    SF’s involvement in electoral politics is there for all to see.The establishment of the Peace Process was to disturb the motionless relationships which existed, as normal politics, back in the 80’s/90’s. Stagnation is a bad thing.
    The leadership shown by SF changed all that and made things much more fluid. Of course with fluidity lies danger. But the PP wrecked all the old certainties for the unionist establishment which had been so accustomed to the “security money ” gravy train which inevitably came into their coffers from Westminister. This in turn also wrecked the SDLP’s cosy relationship with London, where they had been viewed as the nice, acceptable nationalists.The stoops went from being head boy to headless chickens in one decade.

    SF’s insistence of an agenda of equality has affected all the old absolutes from establishment politicians right through to the Church’s.

    As our children move deeper into this new century the template of equality will be the compass with which we are guided.
    Aye and it will also be a big stick we can use (metaphorically speaking) against both the great and the good and the sectarian bigots who tried to keep the majority down for so long.

    “.. All changed, changed utterly, a terrible beauty is born…”

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Your entire viewpoint, including actions prior to GFA, depend on the belief that Irish unity is worthwhile, and can be achieved.

    But says who?

    The only people actively seeking it are northern republicans. Think about it. Only a section of the population of a province. A province in the UK.

    To the majority of people liveing in Ireland (aka Eire, the ROI), Irish unity is a FACT. Their country IS united. Therefore, Sinn Fein’s entire reason for being is, to them, irrelevant.

    I am not saying this to provoke a nasty argument. I am trying to provide the view of people in Ireland itself about the unity issue, which frankly is rarely heard of over northern repulican views.

    Northern Ireland is another country to people of the south. Not one political party has in the last forty years put forward anything to make them wish to include the north in their country.

  • hardly – there was an article in the Irish News the other recently from none other than Brian Feeney on the matter.

    He absolutely roasted the behaviour of the southern government.

  • laughable.

    btw – who are the real Irish? The Normans? The Celts? Or the Picts before them?

    Also completely unaware as to the relevance of SF election performance in the Irish Free State. But nice rant from the realms of the clinically insane.

  • Mr Crumlin

    I think if FF came North they would be a different entity – for starters most of their members would be northerners and we are a very different type of Irishman. Just as the Labour Party of wales and scotland is different from the Labour party of inner city London, I think FF of the North would be very different. Perhaps thats naive but there you go!

    My primary point is that at the minute I am a solid Sinn Fein voter and I believe in their strategy for the future. However as difficult as it is to accept I have come to the realisation that they may not be able to deliver their own strategy. I do not believe the SDLP is in any position to take us forward as a community. They achieved their strategy in 1998 and are becoming increasingly irrelevant under the crazy leadership of Ritchie.

    Thats why I asked if FF were the only party capable of delivering for Northern republicanism/nationalism. I don’t know if they are but I would like to find out.

  • G O’Neill

    I’m sorry but you need to take off the unionist tainted glasses. I think you’ll find as that fianna fail aspire towards Irish unity go and read some of their policy documents ie

    1. Fianna Fáil is a National Movement. Its aims are:-

    (i) To secure in peace and agreement the unity of Ireland and its people

    Im nearly sure that Labour FG etc have the same aims.

    I think if you asked 90% of people in the south they see Ireland as 32 counties. Do you honestly believe if they were asked the question Unity or not that they would say no – it simply is not going to happen. Your post implies that the north and south are some distant sates – they are simply not the people share a language, sports , culture, history- they are one people within the Irish nation no matter how much that annoys you.

  • Jean Meslier

    Cormac, essentially what you are saying has merit.

    I agree the unity debate is dormant in the 26 Co.’s.
    My question is why is it hidden/dormant/repressed by the southern political parties?

    I also think you have to acknowledge the effort of southern Republican’s for resisting this trend.

    The fact is that all southern regimes, with the possible exception of the short lived Clann na Poblacta, have consciously and subconsciously moved Irish unity off any political agenda.
    They did this for many reasons, but all of them were selfish.

    As proud Irish citizens northerner’s could rant about how unfair it all is. We could talk about when the army of Ulster, under Hugh O’Neill, resisted England long after the rest had capitulated. Or how it was Ulstermen who fought in Kinsale, defeated Cromwell at Clonmel, or who organised the army to fight with the French after they landed in Killala.
    But this is all meaningless to a southern populace which has been moulded by the likes of Cosgrave, De Valera, Haughey and Ahearn, as opposed to Liam Lynch, Mellows or Cathal Brugha.
    The Irish civil war was like all wars:- to the victors go the spoils.
    From the 90’s – greed was the new dogma of southern society as was intolerance.
    However society IS changing below. Communities impoverished by this gombeen attitude are looking for fresh ideas.
    For the first time ever southern Irish society is being exposed, on the airwaves, to the view that the 1916 Proclamation even exists and is an important far-sighted document.
    As we approach 2016 the ideals of the 1916 Insurrection will gain more exposure to a people beginning to open their eyes.
    What is certain is that Irish Republican’s, north and south of this border, will be to the forefront in delivering this vibrant message, and the “Free State minded party’s” know this.
    That’s why never a day goes by without a mandatory anti-Republican story in either the Irish Times or The Indo.
    The fact that 90 years after this propaganda campaign began, they still haven’t nailed it, augers well for a southern population to, in future, look to the north as more than a “foreign country”.

  • percy

    A gem
    ” Secondly, as a movement rather than a political philosophy, FF represents a rough coalition of various social forces which more closely resembles the old UUP than SF or the SDLP.”

    could someone throw that out to a FF TD as a question, and come back with their reply for sluggers?

    That’s if the reply is printable ..

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Mr Crumlin – none of which explains WHY unity of north and south is in the best interests of either.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    I know it must be difficult to hear this, especially when all you’ve got to base my attitude is that of your Unionist neighbours.

    But the fact of the matter is uniting north and south simply is not a priority for the overwheleming majority of citizens of Ireland.

    If this were they case, SF would have been in government years ago.

    Sure FF aspire to it. They’ve been aspiring to it since 1926.

    If we are going to have the option of having Northern Ireland becomeing part of our country, we have to ask ourselves – WHAT’S IN IT FOR US?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Its not hidden, repressed, dormant.

    Its simply not a priority to the citizens of Ireland.

    If it was, it would be much more than a mere passive aspiration by our political parties.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    It just shows how out of touch you are if you refer to Ireland as the free state.

  • Jean Meslier

    you said you didn’t want to provoke a nasty arguement. So please don’t portray “the citizens of Ireland”
    as persons residing solely within the 26 Co. boundary.

  • er, the man referred to elections during the period when that thing south of Newry was referred to as the Irish Free State.

    I suggest taking the blinkers off, and oh, oh do I get to say it? Don’t play the man!

  • John East Belfast

    Mr Crumlin

    If FF establishes north of the border are they going to change their utterances about southerners spending money north of the border ?

    I hope FF do push north as the glaring “mid lothian” type questions that would arise would tie them in knots.

    You cant be in Govt in two fiscally competing states – it is bad enough having a mandatory coalition of people who live in the same jurisdiction without also having people taking orders and direction from a competing neighbour.

    I am sure even northern nationalists wouldnt stand for somebody in a party lukewarm on their future prosperity should that prosperity interefer with a bigger picture.

    The notion of 26 county parties seriously competing for votes in the 6 is not going to fly

  • Mr Crumlin

    Ok JEB – lets agree with that for the sake of argument. In the same way the conservative project fell on its face recently.

    If thats the case then all we are left with is eachother. Now I could say, as a republican, why you should embrace a United Ireland but will you tell me why I should embrace a NI in the long term?

  • lamhdearg

    crumlin, Embrace ulster.

  • Erasmus

    Speaking as an ROI citizen I would have to demur from Cormac MacArt. It is not an immediate priority but is still viewed with some degree of positivity by 70% or so pof the populace according to opinion polls.
    BTW Cormac, are you the Armagh doc that used to work in the Mater in Dublin?

  • Mr Crumlin

    Ive no problem with Ulster – very proud of its history. Afterall it is in Ulster where Irish radicalism was born.

    However if ulster means the six county NI as it currently stands then that is not good enough.

  • lamhdearg

    “As it currently stands”, In limbo, No a new ulster, It’s borders would be the six countys for now, Untill we sort ourselves out we cannot expect others to join us, A long road awaits but history has proved that the road to dublin and the road to london are not acceptable to a large % of our people we must find a middle/third way.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Erasmus – Would it not be fair to say that 70% think so because that’s the form of thought we were raised on?

    At the end of the day, what’s in it for us?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Jean Meslier – I’m not. But its long past time that people recognised that Ireland is a country of which Northern Ireland is not a part. Nothing the northern republicans have done have changed that.

  • HeinzGuderian

    A very interesting and thought provoking debate……………from misty eyed Oirish nostalgia for a place that never was,(and never will be),to the sad old rhetoric of trying to force the Unionist people into a UI.

    Begorra,I nearly choked on me Orange Corn Flakes.

    ‘We shall not forsake the blue skies of freedom,for the grey mists of an Oirish Republic. Not now. Not in 2016. Not in 2116.

    The sooner nat/reps get their heads around that,the better for us all. :O)

  • You cant be in Govt in two fiscally competing states

    Are you saying that US states don’t compete with each other for jobs and investment? There’s nothing to stop a political party tailoring its policies to match the differing requirements of multiple jurisdictions. Just because SF thinks in a one-size-fits-all manner doesn’t mean other parties have to.

  • John,

    There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with being a centre-right conservative party, and having that option would give nationalists an electoral choice that has until now been denied them. Any nationalist-unity vehicle that comes out of an SF/SDLP arrangement will be solidly centre-left and fail to represent a perpetually-ignored constituency.

    You’re spot on with your criticism of SF – the persistence of Adams, McGuinness and Kelly at the top table serves mainly as a reminder of the past. Now that Paisley has gone and Robinson is fading, SF’s superannuated leadership is looking increasingly anachronistic. Time to retire the old guard and let “clean” hands such as de Bruin and O’Dowd take over.

  • John East Belfast

    Mr Crumlin

    “Now I could say, as a republican, why you should embrace a United Ireland but will you tell me why I should embrace a NI in the long term?”

    When you advocate a UI what you are advocating is a Separatist Ireland with a border with Great Britain and a government in Dublin.

    I simply have no desire for such a set up – it really doesnt do it for me in any sense.

    The alternative is to be part of the 6th largest nation of the world which itself is a Union of the ancient lands inhabitated by the peoples who ultimately became the English, the Scots the Welsh and the Irish.

    When people ask me what have I got against a UI I ask them what they have against the English, Scots and Welsh.

    In no way have the Scots had their identity diminished by the Union – indeed they have got the best of both worlds including until quite recently having their own as UK Prime Minister and Chancellor.

    I genuinley believe that if the 4 of us hang together we are stronger than if we fall apart.

    Look at the ROI – to go on its own it has had to surrender monetary policy and under a stricter Euro regime it is going to have to surrender a large part of its fiscal independence as well.

    What is your love with Germany and France etc that you could not share with Egland, Scotland and Wales ?

    I really believe the 4 of us have far more in common that unites us than that which divides and the logic of that is political and economic Union within these western isles of Europe.

    I have simply no desire for Ireland to feign “going it alone” with all the dangers of a small nation producing below average political leaders clearly susceptible to corruption and patronage.

    Indeed Irish Separatism makes no sense and can only be considered as some kind of heart driven thing based on myths and anti English prejudice arising from perceived and actual past wrongs.

    A clear head would point to the Union in which the Irish would have punched above their weight and lost none of their identity in the process

    The Union makes sense – especially in today’s world

  • Drumlin Rock

    its probably closest to the truth though percy, a “broad party” that thinks it has the right to govern, with a large if slow and creaky party machine, with a toe in everywhere if no longer in charge.

  • John East Belfast


    I think FF’s beef was where the equivalent of the “Federal Taxes” were going.

    US State Taxes are not that significant and more than local council taxes and rates are.
    Nor do they have a currency difference.

    The main issue with FF was the money flowing from their jurisdiction altogether

  • Mr Crumlin

    I’ll ignore the silly way you made your point but will address what I think you are arguing.

    As a republican I am trying to see if there is an alternative that I could agree to that is short of a UI. I have to say ‘get over it’ is not a particularly convincing argument. I could argue that we are slowly but inevitably moving to an end of the union but that would get us nowhere.

    I am Irish – I happen to think the northern brand of Irishness is unique. However I also think the Irish brand of Britishness is very unique and fits more into Ireland than Britain.

    If you believe in the union – shouldnt unionists bend over backwards to convince me that is the best way? Just as I would bend over backwards for you to embrace a UI.

  • Mr Crumlin

    JEB – thanks for the genuine engagement. However this is not about the economy – Ireland is going through a bad time but it wasnt long ago that it was flying. Anyway the British economy is only beginning to address its difficulties and the next few years will be very bad – I bet they would cut us lose if they could!

    As for the geo-political argument – yes the UK is one of the big players but you would have to admit for a small country Ireland punches well above its weight – particularly in the US. I am not a bif EU fan and I agree I have much more in common with GB than France. I’ve addressed this before in what I call my contradictions of being Irish e.g. I love British popular culture/sport etc. I can and do embrace my British traits – do you embrace your Irishness?

    The problem is that the Irish identity in NI was suppressed for many years and that continues to be the case – allbeit in a less obvious way. If unionism could embrace Irishness then that would go a long way to bringing long term political stability to our country.

  • Andrew,
    a centre-right conservative party just wouldn’t be my choice. And, up til relatively recently, the reason most nationalist groupings were centre-left was because that is where their electorate were, economically. Now there are more affluent Catholics, it will be interesting to see how money shapes their identity.
    I wasn’t simply criticisng the SF leadership, though, I was wondering whether:
    (a) there is no conceivable configuration of SF that would attract support from Protestants/British people for a UI (obviously ‘unionists’ couldn’t/wouldn’t support a UI),
    (b) when the current leadership retire, would SF members who have no IRA past have the potential to at least widen the potential engagement with the idea of a UI?

    I suspect that you cannot opt for (a) without at least trying (b). I haven’t looked for it, but I’m sure this must have been discussed within SF/republican circles before.

  • smellybigoxteronye

    Cormac, I think if you were to stop calling your country “Ireland” then it would help things a lot, and people could realise that there are 2 states on Ireland – the island should be the only legitimate use of the word “Ireland” – then everyone in both jurisdictions could at least acknowledge what is shared in our island identity. You do realise that many northern Unionists won’t call themselves “Irish” because of being confused with the south? Likewise, many northern Nationalists feel just as annoyed about the ambiguity that the southern state creates in its naming.

  • the reason most nationalist groupings were centre-left was because that is where their electorate were, economically

    This is a simplistic view of the nationalist electorate, and fails to explain why economically-deprived loyalist areas didn’t vote for left-wing parties in the same numbers, or why deprived rural areas in the Republic fail to vote for the Labour party. The answer is that the driving force of NI politics is not the left-right economic argument but rather social conservatism vs. reformism, and that liberal-reformist parties worldwide have an unfortunate (in my view) tendency to also be socialists. There are at least three major political axes in NI (unionist-nationalist, socialist-capitalist and conservative-liberal), but the second and third have been lazily conflated with the first – if you’re a nationalist then it is assumed that you must also be a socialist and a liberal, and vice versa. Parties such as the PUP have struggled to break out of this restrictive thought pattern. Granted, you wouldn’t vote for a centre-right party. I’m saying the nationalist electorate should be given that choice for themselves.

    I agree with you on your point b) though. Witness the P&J controversy and the determination of the Unionists to block Gerry Kelly. The argument raised there was a personal one based on his particular past. If de Bruin (for example) had been the candidate, would there still have been complaints? Of course. Would it have been as personal? I doubt it.

  • John East Belfast

    Mr Crumlin

    It is also not that long ago that Ireland was being described the sick man of Europe.

    The Celtic Tiger was about a 15 year phenomenon in it entire, mostly impoverished 90 year existance.

    Small nations within the EU straight jacket wont hack it I am afraid.

    I think unionists embrace their Irishness more than you think and would probably do so a lot more if it hadnt been hijacked by republicanism.

    St Patrick is our patron saint as well along with the shamrock – dont forget the battle cry of the Royal Irish is gaelic. Irish rugby team etc as well.

    I just see my Irishness as part of a greater union of peoples and not something that has to be set apart

  • I think I’ve given simplistic view of history Andrew, not the nationalist electorate. But I think that was broadly what happened – the nationalist parties either by following or leading their voters – tended towards a similar platform as that constituency (notionally tinged with varying shades of socialism and liberalism), albeit within the very limited framework of NI politics.
    Claims and counter-claims about the social policy and economic frameworks espoused by various parties, up until the last ten years, is based on what were effectively theoretical philosophies that parties might have applied if they were ever in power. Since that wasn’t the case (note those mights and ifs) – any positions they took up were largely unchallenged as they weren’t tested by practical application in office. At what point in the life of the executive you decide that people have been in power long enough to have made changes that allow their agenda to be properly scrutinised, and how they have performed to date, is a debate for another day.
    In retrospect, I’d have pre-fixed most of those comments with ‘notionally’ but that would have made it even more tedious for other people to read.
    As to the issue of the PUP – there is a long history of Labour (and indeed Liberal) Unionism which is never mentioned these days. For want of better terms, there are plenty of conservative Catholics and Protestant socialists, but neither seem to register their presence very well on the political stage. There are even libertarian atheists out there, too.

  • Stephen, South Down

    I have to disagree.

    Northern Ireland, since it’s inception, has been the 4th partner, after England, Scotland and Wales, in the UK. I would be a passionate supporter of the Union if it delivered as much as it delivers in England, but it does not. In terms of both economic and political attention, Northern Ireland is a problem to Westminster, not a partner. I was a first time voter in May, and this is why i voted SDLP.

    I say this to point out that the wrongs, “actual and percieved”, of the past, are not confined to the past – they continue. For example, the Child Poverty Act, passed in Brown’s last months, was only expanded to include Northern Ireland (which has the worst child poverty in the UK) after extensive lobbying from Barnardo’s. Can you imagine this scenario with Scotland or Wales? Northern Ireland was created, not by the UK’s sincere desire to keep us in the Union, but as a cold-hearted maneouvre by Lloyd George to remove Ireland from British politics.

    Contrastingly, Northern Ireland, Catholic and Protestant alike, would be recieved by Ireland – if the Protestant and unionist population would realise that they have nothing to fear from a UI. The Republic is by now, essentially a secular state – Catholicism is the recognised religion of Ireland in the same way that Anglicanism is the “official religion” of the Empire. Ireland was hit harder by the recession than most, admittedly, but the Republic government has taken aggressive steps against banks and the deficit – aggressive steps as yet unseen in Britian, despite the recovery beginnig almost 6 months ago.

    I just do not understand what Unionists now have to fear from re-joining the nation that they once, rightfully, belonged to.

  • Sinn Fein are not a republican party.

  • Mr Crumlin

    Fuzzy wuzzy was a woman!

    I’m open to all viewpoints but statements without explanation arent very useful.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    But Ireland IS the name of this country. Northern Ireland is merely a province in the UK. Therefore I could not care less what unionists up there call themselves because they are not my fellow countrymen anyway.

    As for northern nationalists, tough. Not my fault they were born in another country.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    I don’t see a problem here, Heinz. After all, the Irish state does not want the north. Northern nationalists – who only form part of the population of NI – are the only ones actively agitating for unity, albiet with a state that does not want them.

    So, exactly what are the unionists so worried about?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    But Mr. Crumlin – seeing as you live in the UK, and are not from the Irish state, how can you induce your neighbours into a state you do not partake? From my point of view your entire outlook fails because you don’t live in ireland and because there is not a strong active movement in Ireland for the incorporation of Northern Ireland into our country.

    therefore, all the talk and manifestos by northern nationalists/republicans are just that, because they are trying to impose their views not only on their neighbours, but with the citizens of another country. One that few of them actually live in, or are even citizens.

    Again, I AM sorry for been so blunt and hurtful, but I cannot see how I can get my points across without doing so. The fact of the matter is that Irish unity is only a cause for a minority of the population of Northern Ireland, which is not even part of the Irish state. SF’s failure to become a substancial party in Ireland indicates just how irrelevant its central aim is to people south of the border.

    Basicly both SDLP and SF are spending huge resources on an issue that is not an option for the majority of the population on the island. All the while they pursue it they ailenate themselves from their immeditate neigghbours and fellow UK citizens. Which brings me back to your first, and very pertient point; what now forthern republicanism?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    With respect, you are woefully wrong if you think Ireland would happily accecpt Northern Ireland into it just like that. Why would we want to take all that baggage and acrimony into our country? We already have problems of our own.

    the UK is a bigger player on the European and world stage than Ireland will ever be. If all its squablling parties cut their losses and acted for NI on that basis, it could become quite the partner within the union.

    You don’t have to UNDERSTAND unionist fears. All you have to do is accept them.

    For all the time I have visited slugger, not a single poster has ever given me a good reason – beyound emotive nationalism – why NI should be united with Ireland. Its part of the UK, and its high time its Irish population coped on and took advantage of it.

  • Modern Republicanism, which was born in the Enlightenment, was ruthlessly secularist. It was also internationalist.

    Sinn Fein is a nationalist party which addresses itself to Cathlolics.

    The United Irish movement at its beat was not a ‘coming together’ of differing religions; but a negation of sectarian identity into something enetirely new.

    Nationalist and sectarian outlooks are nothing but a dead-end. An overpowering, suffocating ethos in the North of parochialism leaves Imperilaism in control, through it’s local agents of parochial parties.

    Capitalism as a world economic system is dragging us towards a new cataclysmic world war; and Sinn Fein have nothing to say on that score!

    Before the last General Election in the ‘Republic’ Adams said the the interests of Business needed to be addressed. Before the 2004 European Elections Adams gave a private speech to Dublin Chamber of Commerce, which represents big business in the south. What did he say in that speech?

    Sinn Fein’s constituency, it’s controlling interest, is the petty capitalist, who wishes to sit at the big table.

  • Stephen, South Down

    Fair enough. Ireland’s leaders wouldn’t “happily” do it; who wants the UVF as their problem? But the day is coming(I don’t mean that to sound as apocalyptic as it does) where nationalists will outnumber unionists in Ulster. When a referendum comes as outlined in the GFA, which is overwhelmingly likely if not inevitable in the next, say, 80 years, Irish leaders cannot just back away. “Irish unity” has been a cornerstone of all Irish parties, regardless of ideology, since the Free State’s inception. What sort of havoc would Brian Cowen invoke if he said, “I don’t care if Ulster wants to come back. Too much hassle.” ?

    Secondly, the UK is a much bigger player in the world. There is just no contesting that. But Northern Ireland will never become an equal partner in the Union. David Cameron – like Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, John Major, Thatcher – just does not care. The UCUNF was an entertaining flop at gaining him enough seats for an overall majority, not trying to cohesify Northern Ireland into the Union.

    Good reasons why Ireland should be unified:
    1)Vast majority of Irish people want it.
    2)Northern Ireland, as an economic unit within the UK, is unviable, and has a public sector – for once I’m agreeing with Cameron – similar to former Soveit states.
    3)Unionists have nothing practicable to fear from Ireland – economy, religion etc. – their fears are based in a historical psychological feeling of being “outsiders” in Ireland since the Plantations.
    4)Ireland was a country for hundreds of years before Britian intervened.

  • tacapall

    “Capitalism as a world economic system is dragging us towards a new cataclysmic world war; and Sinn Fein have nothing to say on that score”

    Spot on, they have surrendered to capitalism and and the Global Elite and are now part of the system. What other political party who claims it is socialist, would bottle and sell for profit for itself, the countries natural resource water, then having the henries to call it “When only our rivers run free” yeah right.

  • JoeJoe

    John East Belfast and others who call Irish nationalists separatists

    Re ‘the 4 of us’ nations together.. v. separatists etc.

    The truth is that the England Scotland Wales and Ireland didn’t come together to form a wonderful new greater state florishing from Gaelic Anglo and other cultures. It was an English takeover and attempt to wipe out the other cultures language, laws, literature (via language) etc. I think John your starting point that it is natural to have one govt. for the 4 nations (based in England of course), and that anyone that want’s different is a separatist is not a perspective that comes naturally to the vast majority of Irish people despite English propoganda. (E.g. the term British Isles was made up by the English only around 1700 to suit their takeover.)

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Steven – thanks for the civil reply.

    1 – Wanting a united Ireland is a concern to northern nationalists. Its just a latent aspiration in the south. If unity were a burning issue down here, SF would have been in government years ago. They are not, and the issue is nowhere near a live one. I don’t see how plainer I can make it.

    2 – fair enough. But why then should the irish state take it on? what’s in it for us?

    3 – you and I know that. But again, how is it in the best interests of the irish state to take them on? they don’t want us, we don’t want them, end of.

    4 – ?

    As to a referendum; northern nationalists can vote to leave the UK as often as they want but they will be going nowhere because the irish state won’t take them unless its in their best interests.

    Emotive historical reasons are all very well, but won’t make people down here active for unification. and as I said, it is simply not a live issue. So from my point of view northern nationalists are wasting huge amounts of time and resources on this. They will never convince the unionists, and have not made it matter to the south. Which means NI is staying put.

  • Erasmus

    Lest there be any misunderstanding, I think it is important to point out to NI nationalists reading this forum that the views expressed by Cormac MacArt only represent those of a fringe minority here in the south.

  • Erasmus

    Lest there be any misreading of matters, I simply must point out to any NI nationalists reading this thread that the opinions expressed by Cormac MacArt only represent those of a fringe minority here in the south.

  • Alias

    We’re so lucky to have you here to pin disclaimer notices to posts…

    I’d guess that his view represents the majority verdict among those who have given the subject any consideration – which is probably less than 5% of folks in Ireland.

    The vast majority still think that unity has the old nationalist purpose of extending the right to Irish national self-determination to NI, and wouldn’t be aware that it now has the post-GFA purpose of removing the right to Irish national self-determination from Ireland, rendering the Irish nation subject to the veto of a foreign nation and requiring the dismantlement of the Irish nation-state.

    As they are not post-nationalists, they won’t vote to convert themselves into a non-sovereign nation. So any ‘progress’ that the post-nationalists in NI can make in that realm in Ireland will be made on the basis of Irish ignorance of the terms that the GFA sets out for unity. That ignorance – and the ‘progress’ that is based on it – will vanish if the Irish actually bother to read the GFA – which they won’t do until there it has any relevance to them.

    The GFA is simply the post-nationalists in NI proffering the terms of their own surrender of national rights to the British state (in return for self-serving internal concessions from that state) as the blueprint for unity. There is no reason whatsoever why the Irish nation would follow their example and also surrender their national rights.

  • Scamallach

    Cormac – a united Ireland taken simply as an economic unit presents opportunities that two separate states on this island cannot take advantage of. There are opportunities of scale that an all-island economy can take advantage of that are simply impossible by virtue of Northern Ireland not being physically connected to Britain (the rest of the UK).

    For example:
    Centralised adminstrative functions for the Garda/PSNI and for most other state arms, e.g. education, health.
    A combining of many instances of two systems into one, for example education. This could be achieved in a UI but for some reason has never happened in the UK, NI has a different education system, sets its own exams, etc.
    Elimination of foreign exchange risk for both regions in and around the border areas.

    This is just off the top of my head – I’m sure there are dozens more. Obviously this assumes no major outlay in terms of increased security costs, which is frankly unlikely, but for you to simply say that there would be zero advantages in a united Ireland is obtuse to say the least.

  • Alias

    Will folks in NI vote for economies of scale? Hardly since they’d be voting themselves out of state employment. If that is your argument for unity to them then you’ll still be making it 100 years from now.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    All the arguments been made for a united Ireland are the same as those one hundred years ago. They didn’t work then. Why should they work now?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    the other side of that is that the Irish state would be inheriting all the problems of the north.

    At the end of the day, a UI is not going to happen because no one has convinced the unionists or the citizens of Ireland that it is in their interest.

    You’ve made a good start with your ideas, better than most here, but really need to work them up.

    Even if you can get a majority in NI for unity, what about the south? Has anyone remembered you have to convince us? After all, its our country.

  • Cormac shouldn’t be dismissed lightly. I probably don’t move in the right circles (Galway is hardly a hotbed of republicanism) but any people I have met who have expressed a strong view on the North lean towards Cormac’s position rather than Sinn Féin’s. Most others don’t seem to care much either way.

    His central point is valid – you only have to look at the Lisbon I debacle to see how badly it can go wrong. The political class mistook fuzzy pro-Europeanism for solid support for a particular treaty, and failed to actively sell their proposals to the people. When you consider that the cold realities of any UI agreement will inevitably fall far short of the romantic ideal, Southern support in any referendum will have to be fought for.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    andrew has put my points across better than myself.

    Compared to NI, Ireland is not a ‘hotbed of republicanism’ because we have already achieved our goal, a country of our own. thus a united Ireland is not an issue because we already have a united Ireland.

    I return again to the point that Sinn Fein have utterly failed to gain votes in the south. Why? Because the citizens of Ireland are happy with things as they are. And things as they are means NI remaining within the UK.

    Northern republicans seem to confuse their view of how things should be with that of the citizens of Ireland. This is why I keep refering to the south as Ireland; not only is it its proper name, but because it is another country compared to Northern Ireland, politically and in fact.

    Northern republicans represent a sizable minority within the population of Northern Ireland. They represent a VERY SMALL MINIORITY among the people of the island, overall.

    As long as this remains unchanged, Ireland and Northern Ireland will remain as they are.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    I might also add that I seem to one of a very few here who actually live in Ireland, as most other posters seem to be from Northern Ireland. Surely a southern view of the south might have more insight than that of northern republicans?

  • Neil

    Surely a southern view of the south might have more insight than that of northern republicans?

    For the most part, sure, but people be wrong on both sides of the border. Just thought you might be interested in the following link saying SF’s bridging the gap in the south, though probably more due to the economy issues than the border issue. Though I’d point out that the only poll I know of asking Southerners about their feelings towards a UI showed support in the 80% bracket. That survey was about 5 years ago and carried out by The Post.


  • I, on the other hand, refuse to refer to the Republic as an unqualified “Ireland” – it is too ambiguous. “Irish citizen” is fine, as it obviously refers to the state rather than the island, but geography is different. For example, I recently heard a radio presenter referring to Cork as “the second biggest city in Ireland”, which just annoyed me. It’s not the political sentiment that grates, but the semantic laziness.

    By contrast, I couldn’t give a toss whether it’s called Derry or Londonderry. I generally use the former, but only because it has fewer syllables. Of course, that drives some very sensitive people up the wall, which can be amusing…

  • Cormac Mac Art

    But that’s just a poll. Votes are what count, and SF, if memory serves, have just four TD’s. Even independents outnumber them. Labour have something like 30, Fine Gael about 50 and Fianna Fail about 70. those figures demonstrate just what small fish SF are in Ireland.

    You need to qualify what you mean by Irish people. Irish people in Northern Ireland, Irish citizens in Ireland, or both?

    In any case, if 80% applies to the south, then why has that not translated into votes for SF? Many in the south may indeed like the idea of a UI, but its not the number one issue in their lives. It is for northern republicans, who only make up a minority of the population in both Northern Ireland, and the overall island.

    SF, and by extension, their core values, do not enjoy wide support in Ireland. That is a fact. They are a marginal party who seem to be going the same way as the PD’s.

    How can it be otherwise when they concern themselves with matters that are irrelevant to the majority of people in the irish state?

  • abucs

    Republicans have a fair agreement with regards to local politics. The emphasis should be on making it work and building friendships amongst all sections of the community.

  • Erasmus

    I might also add that I seem to one of a very few here who actually live in Ireland, as most other posters seem to be from Northern Ireland. Surely a southern view of the south might have more insight than that of northern republicans?
    I *am* a southerner who has lived for decades in all corners of the ROI. I do not regard my northern brethren as any less Irish than I am; unlike me northern nationalists have had their Irishness tested by adversity and therefore it carries an additional integrity.
    SF regularly occupy the nether reaches of my ballot paper yet it is news to me that I am suddenly anti-UI. This is one whopping nonsequitur. Even the much-maligned Fine Gael have the ‘United Ireland Party’ as their subtitle. regularly.
    And I can asure all and sundry that my views rather than CmcA’s reflect the mainstream of opinion.
    I have to say that I have got a teency bit suspicious in recent years of some progandistically sophisticated unionists trying to pass themselves off as southerners in the hope that arrows fired from that direction will penetrate further.

  • Erasmus

    Oops that should read ‘assure’.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    I have never said that I regard people in Northern Ireland as any less Irish than people in Ireland. Nor did I accuse you of this.

    I am just pointing out that they do not live in Ireland and thus it is a mistake to think their concerns are the same as those of us here in Ireland.

    I use the term Ireland (as opposed to the south, 26 counties, ROI, free state, etc) because that is the name of our country, but also to draw attention to the diseperate politics of NI and Ireland.

    Why are my views so offensive that you have to suggest I am a ”progandistically sophisticated unionist’?

    What are your views, then, and how are they reflective of mainstream opinion in the Irish state?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    And I do stand by my suggestion that someone who lives down here in the south would know more of the general opinions of people here than that of northern people.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Irish unity is just a latent aspiration among Ireland’s main political partys, a hangover from 20th-century politics.

    Not one of them have made unity their main electoral issue in decades.

    Sinn Fein have done so. Their lack of sucess in making it matter to voters in Ireland is demonstrated by their small numbers in the Dail.

    Which shows you just how much the unity issue matters to the Irish voter. Not very much at all.

    Why should it? We already HAVE a united country.

  • Alias

    “All the arguments been made for a united Ireland are the same as those one hundred years ago. They didn’t work then. Why should they work now?”

    Well, one point in regard to this: Ireland is already ‘united’ under the treaty (the British Irish Agreement) wherein sovereignty over key economic, administrative and cultural institutions of the Irish state were surrendered to the United Kingdom.

    This is a new approach in that the arguments for Irish citizens surrendering their right to self-determination over the internal affairs that are now exercised by a supranational entity and not by the citizens of the state on their behalf were simply not made. Instead, they were not told by their government that they were surrendering this sovereignty to the UK and that the institutions (such as the body to promote the Irish language) would no longer be operated by the state in the national interests of its citizens but would be subject thereafter to the veto of the British state and its national interests.

    As they are required under Article 5 of the Irish constitution to approve the removal of the sovereign functions of their state, the government simply did not inform them that is why the British Irish Agreement was included in the 19th Amendment since they would not have approved this surrender of their sovereignty to the UK if they were told that is what they were actually doing.

    So the arguments are not being made. Instead the reunification of Ireland within the United Kingdom is being progressed by stealth, without the knowledge or approval of the citizens of the state.

    It will still be subject to veto of the Irish people but it is hoped that they will not object to this conversion of them into a non-sovereign nation if it occurs by stealth, and if they can be led to beleive that they do not require a nation-state. It is only if their ignorance was dispelled would they object before the point of no return is deemed to be reached. That is what Whitehall learned from how the EU progresses its agenda to steal sovereignty from state by stealth…

  • erasmus

    I *am* a southerner who lives in the south. But my views, as opposed to yours, concord with mainstream thinking here. In referring to ‘Ireland’ as specifically the 26 county entity and ‘our united country’ as being the same entity who are out of kilter with the ROI vox populi.
    Who ask the perennial question ‘what is in it for us?’
    The same view could have been taken of independence; there are some things that you cannot put on a balance sheet – they are instinctual on a gut level.
    I claim that my views represent general thinking in the ROI; C McA claims the same for his. The thinking reader will just have to make up his mind which one of us rings truer.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    I never said you were not a southerner, either.

    I disagree. They accord with mainstream positions, but the moment you ask people here to seriously consider unification, the room will empty pretty fast. That’s why SF have never gained anywhere near enough votes to challange the positions of the main partys. Therefore, most Irish people do not consider unification a live issue.

    Its a fair question. If this country is to overnight expand its population by a million, shouldn’t we be advised why it will be a good thing for us? The Question stands. What is in it for us?

  • JoeJoe

    Methinks Cormac protests too much.

    Was Cormac Mac Art Árd Rí na 26 condae or High King of Ireland as a whole?

    Are Tyrone nationalists any different than those from Donegal? Would a Kerryman see any difference from tourists from Tyrone and Donegal?
    Are Armagh footballers from another country other than Ireland, playing in a tournament other than the All-Ireland? Did Offaly hurlers have to go to a reply on Sunday in the All Ireland hurling championship with a foreign team?

    Southerners, in my view, like most English people (non pols and Labour), are happy to let northerners get to know each other in normal regional politics for a generation. But everyone knows that the unionist parties -nationalist parties divide is down to 8%, and falling 1% every five years. I think southerners are happy to let the UK keep going the way it is (certainly not the oppressor of the past) for another 35 years, and then when faced with a majority of like-minded people, will take a lot more interest. In addition, I think the people in GB will be less ‘loyal’ to NI, once a majority have no emotion for their Queen, their flag, their army etc.

  • Alias

    “I think southerners are happy to let the UK keep going the way it is (certainly not the oppressor of the past) for another 35 years…”

    By which time most of these folks who you claim would dearly love to live in a united Ireland will be dead, thereby never getting to see their dream fulfilled.

    The reality is that nobody in Ireland really gives a damn about Northern Ireland.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Perhaps. I just try to reply as best I can.

    Not too sure what your point is.

  • Republic of Connaught

    The reality is many people in the 26 counties don’t particularly care about ANYTHING happening on the entire planet Earth besides their wage packets and tax bills. The Republic is full of Me feiners, not Sinn Feiners. Sir Cormac the lusty partitionist being a case in point.

    In any case, there can’t be unification post GFA until there is firstly a nationalist majority in the north. Once that occurs and the South is directly given the opportunity to unify the country you will see the majority of Irishmen and women confirm their patriotism for their 32 counties. Until then, it’s not our choice to make.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    And why not? Wages and taxes are a crucial day-to-day issue in life. Unless we pay attention to the likes of that, how can we deal with greater matters.

    Now, seeing as you brought it up, can you show me how, in relation to wages and taxes, incorporating the north into Ireland is in the interest of us me feiners?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    But why should FF bother to get involved to that degree in NI? What’s in it for them?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    All of which fails to take into consideration the wishes of the people of the Irish state. Since when have they REALLY wanted NI?

    A united Ireland is a pretty daft idea when we already have a united country.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Fact of the matter is, UI is a dead duck still afloat.

  • RJ

    Im a Northern Nationalist but Finna Fail or Even Finn Gail
    in our Assembly is Enough to make me Turn my Stomach
    because it goes against certain points of Democracy

    1. Both Parties are from the South and would therefor
    not be Effect by the Decisions the Assembly and Executive make this Goes for Labour of the UK, and the Tories and Liberal Democratics also so im not really taken side on this Part.

    2. People in those parties wouldint Pay taxes,
    wouldint live in the 6 Counties and wouldint have an Indea
    about what the North Want.

    3. theres no Hope in Hell of Either of them
    or the Lib-Dems, Tories of Labour UK Been Elected by our lot , because we Look through Six County Glasses if your not from the Six-Counties your not Important enough to Be Voted in and Be Represented and you should just get back in your Foreign Box and go back home.

    i think this is 100% true