Shared future: The ‘popular’ option (almost) no one votes for…

Fascinating response from Alex Kane to Norman Hamilton’s presentation at our post election breakfast. It’s feisty and combative and he takes on the idea that government should take on the task of creating a shared future that remains deeply unpopular at the polls:

What Mr Hamilton, along with a veritable army of heavily funded, self-justifying community workers and peace activists have failed to notice, is that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland have already agreed upon a ‘community relations agenda and a community relations strategy’. They are, in fact, happy enough to live apart and remain apart. No one is forcing them to do so: they choose to do so. Better still, in 1998 and subsequently they have endorsed political structures and institutions which are built upon a power-sharing system which props up their desire to be treated as separate communities.

For those who do want to ‘integrate’, there is nothing stopping them either. There are no laws to prevent Protestants and Roman Catholics, or unionists and republicans from co-habiting politically, socially or in the workplace. Indeed, Northern Ireland is drowning in legislation which protects all of us from sectarian discrimination.

He continues:

Sinn Fein and the SDLP love the idea of a shared future, but only because they define it and promote it in rigidly political, constitutional terms. For them – and I have said this over and over again – a shared future involves treating unionism and republicanism as equals. And in so doing you remove all of the influence and importance that should be associated with majority opinion. For let’s not forget the fact that the pro-Union opinion is still the opinion of the majority here and I for one will never endorse a shared future doctrine which seeks to dilute or diminish that opinion.

My fear about those who do promote the shared future doctrine is that they are, in reality, promoting a very dangerous concept of political and social engineering. They want to turn Northern Ireland into something that most of the people of Northern Ireland don’t want it to be. The legislative methods and machinery they wish to deploy are every bit as invidious as the laws – in some cases enacted for ‘natural and Christian’ reasons – which underpinned both apartheid in South Africa and ‘Jim Crow’ in the US.

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  • Cormac Mac Art

    Sorry, I must have read this wrong.

    8000 people WANT to move to Northern Ireland???

  • ballocks

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Ahh Ann, please don’t go. You are the only girl here! This board needs some femme sence to counteract all the male seafoid. I promise to/not to support a united Ireland if you will stay, depending on your whim of course.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Dammit lads! And yes, we in the south agree with you!

  • Bulmer

    What this thread proves is that there is little support for the ‘ourselves alone’ Unionist style. We are part of a global economy in which people will move and settle elsewhere.

    Look at the current Germany team for an insight into how even the Germans are beginning to accept that outsider’s kids can become German. I assume Ann would object to anyone playing for Norn Irn who wasn’t seven generation Prod.

    The original post from Alex Kane suggested that it was a good idea that both communities could live in separate worlds.

    Reading Ann’s posts is proof positive that it is in fact corrosive of the mind and the intellect and ultimately the soul.

    Ulster is going to move away from the siege mentality, gradually and almost without anyone noticing.

  • Comrade_Trotsky

    “…especially our children who have a right to grow up in their own country within their own culture ”

    And what culture is that? Last time I checked we’re all (the youth at least) Americans now…

  • Kevin Barry

    Ann, I’m sorry but this won’t be allowed to happen and this blind scaremongering is pretty pathetic.

    Immigration is a fact of life, it makes for a more rounded society and helps in plugging deficits where skills are required.

    The vast, VAST majority of immigrants are hard working, diligent people who come here to make a better life for themselves and for their family as this is what most people do and want.

    You are merely using typical racist scare tactics that foreign menaces are coming to take all of our jobs, not help create more jobs with their entrepreneurial skills as is the case wherever people decide to go.

  • willis

    It would be quite useful to start a fresh thread on this. What is interesting about this is the reporting by the Belfast Telegraph.

    The original story is dated 9 June:

    “The number of children without English as their first language being taught in Northern Ireland’s schools has increased by almost 600% in just eight years, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today.”

    There is no byline so it probably was not written by Kathryn Torney. Judge for yourselves if the headline was designed to provoke a xenophobic response. Someone posting by the handle “Bigchiefally”seems to have taken the bait as his/her posts have been removed.

    PaceNI managed to apply some sense by pointing out that 3% is hardly a tide and refeencingt the overall reduction in school places of 50,000 which was conveniently ignored in the original article.

    The DENI stats on newcomers are here:

    The whole school population is here:

    Contrary to Ann’s belief, the newcomer children may actually be keeping schools open.

  • apollo293867

    I really hope so.


  • bulmer


    I thought you were never again going to discourse with us lefties? We can but hope.

  • martin

    will we ever be a normal society

  • RJ

    The North of Ireland only has about 1% of Foreigners
    so saying that its filled with them is Stupid,
    The Next group after the Native Born [Irish/British/Ulster whatever] is the Stinking English so i for one would class them as Foreigners but even they Deserve a Education,
    dont know where your Argument about Education is coming from Most Foreigners send there Kids to England or some place better [Southern Ireland for Example] so id like to know where all the Figures about Foreigners stealing our School Places is coming from? maybe you have been reading to much of the New Papers or watching to much BBC [The BBC Is foreign except for about 1 hr a day when our locals come on newsline which is Bi-Est towards Nationalist and uses all the Unionist lingo] even when i watch BBC Newsline they never mention Education only about a New Business, the Banks been bailed out or Been Built etc, probelly been Listing to much David Cameron on the Tv I guess even tho David Cameron hasnt got any thing to do with our Education system its The Assembly and Catrina Riane and i think shes got more pressing conserns than Giving School Places to ”foreigners” like sorting out the Education system which was the Mess left behind by the English Northern Ireland Office when i was in School i only ever saw about at least 5 of those So Called Foreigners your talking about 4 [Black] was born in the north and 1 Was English but i guess by your ideal we should deport all them or would you like something different like all Foreingers in Camps waiting to be Executed bet thats what you want you little Hitler Ya the Irish dont work like that and as long as theres a Northern Statelet and an Irish Nation it will never come to pass if that means keeping the Education System out of Unionist and English Hands then so be it that way what you want will never happen Everyone who You dont regard as ”Native” been pushed away in a trolly to Be Executed i want something to and thats for there not to be Unionist or the English but i guess we dont get what we want all the time ey maybe someday but would we really care guess not. i once saw something in a Protestant friends house i didnt think id ever see and it was a Tri-Colour her parents had both flags in there bedroom
    the Tricolour and the Union Jack side by side it didnt botter anyone
    her Mother was what people would term a Fenian [ or Taig if you like that term] and her Da was a Prod [or Orange Bastard if you like that term] my Great Grand fathers on both sides were Honist the God Prods im from a Mixed family but i feel no less irish and Catholic my Grand mother family on my mas side are english but id still regard them as Foreigners i think you have to Look up the Defininion of a Foreigner [or Alien if you like that term] im not either neiter is the So Called [British/Ulsters] or People of the Irish Nation and since the Good Friday Agreement i guess the English, Scots and Welsh, and the Manx, and Jersey, Guerncey, and since the 1970’s the Germans, Romanians,
    Danish, the Dutch, Austrians , Italians, Russian, Spanish, French since they are all part of the Same Union that is the European Union under the Law of the North of Ireland excluding the Good Friday Agreement a Foreigner [or Alien]
    is Anyone not Born within the Borders of the Northern State, or Law of the United Kingdom [ if your a Prod and or Unionist about very little left] since the Ireland Act 1949 a Foreigner or Alien
    is anyone born outside the Irish Nation [ including the North and South], The United Kingdom [Great Britain], Jersey, Gerncey, the Isle of Man and the Commonwealth who is a Foreigner [or Alien] has changed over time and Cant be Used in a way which Would Suit your Purpose all the time.
    even when the British Empire was around the Only ones who where not Classed as Foreigners where the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland [1800-1920] then Great Britain and Ireland [1920-1949] then the United Kingdom and Ireland and the Commonwealth from [1938-1970’s] then the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Commonwealth and the European Union [Excluding temporary Students and the 2 Years stay for americans without a Visa, [1970’s-present]

    Get real and move with the Times
    and Stop looking through your Nazi Glasses
    if you must put on Glasses put on Green [Nationalist] or Orange [Unionist] classes instead.